“You gotta find your Death Star.”
Swift shot: I own this film, and I have watched it many times – it’s kinda like my personal Odyssey. Star Wars is more than a film – it’s a way of life for me. When I heard about Fanboys, I was instantly curious . . . and concerned . . . that it would mock something I hold dear to my heart. I was ready to critically eviscerate the film makers if they dared put-down a huge chunk of my childhood and even my adult life. Thankfully, Fanboys is more than just a goofy comedy with endless Star Wars references, it has a humbleness to it that I can, sadly, personally relate to.
With an opening crawl that declares – “Episode VII – Return of the Saga” setting the stage for 1998, six months before Episode I: The Phantom Menace is to be released, five friends reunite at a party – but one of them is holding something back.
Nursed on all things Star Wars, Eric (Sam Huntington), Linus (Chris Marquette), Windows (Jay Baruchel), Hutch (Dan Fogler) and to a lesser extent Zoe (Kristen Bell) decide they want to make a child-hood dream come true and break into the Skywalker Ranch in San Francisco to screen the anticipated Episode I. On their road-trip from Ohio, they encounter all manner of characters from geekdom, and there are many cameos by actual Star Wars cast members that I won’t ruin here. There is at least one cameo that will stun you!
Ernest Cline and Adam F. Goldberg wrote this film for people like them -people like me. It’s clear they enjoyed themselves, and it really doesn’t matter what I think anyway, because George Lucas blessed the film. He let them shoot at the Skywalker Ranch, film inside his office, play with his toys and obviously had no problem with having a little fun poked at himself. Can you say Jar Jar Binks?
Fanboys has tons of laughs for, well fanboys, to enjoy. But, that isn’t what I love about the story. I love that there is a real sense of mission, because one of the friends may not make it to the 1999 release. The film transforms almost immediately into something powerful. If you have ever lost a friend at a young age, and that friend was as much a Star Wars fan as you . . . this film may be difficult to watch. It was for me.
Watching this film again, in 2014, after This is the End has been released, is kinda like watching a prequel, with Seth Rogen (who has many funny roles), Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson and probably more that I didn’t catch. Fanboys is a ride that you have to take, and to remember what it was like for you in 1999 when all things Star Wars were fresh, where were you, who were you with when you watched The Phantom Menace? Maybe your story isn’t as exciting, or important, as these four fanboys, plus one fangirl, but you’ll enjoy taking the trip with them. Enjoy this film, you will!