Documentary about how awesome George Lucas is… erm I mean Star Wars.
Empire of Dreams is an exhaustive, two and a half hour documentary chronicling the making of the first three Star Wars films. All the main cast members are featured with Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill both great value and underused. It is nice to see people like Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), Anthony Daniels (C3PO), Kenny Baker (R2D2) and James Earl Jones (Vadar) speaking with such warmth and affection for a film franchise that changed all of their lives and the mix of interviews with archive footage makes for a compelling watch.
Unfortunately the bulk of the interviews are taken up by George Lucas who as always, is almost unbearably smug. Lucas’ tale of taking on Hollywood and winning should be inspirational but when accompanied by the gushing narration and Lucas’ constant sneer it becomes cloying rather quickly. Much more interesting is Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner who is very illuminating and of course the great Harrison Ford who cant hide his own reverence for the project behind his trademark cynicism.
Whilst Empire of Dreams is more propaganda than a candid peek behind the curtain, it is still an entertaining and well made documentary that is vital viewing for any Star Wars fan.