DVD Review: Jedi Junkies

Jedi Junkies DVDSTUDIO: Docurama/New Video/Cinedigm | DIRECTOR: Mark Edlitz
DVD RELEASE DATE: 2/12/2013 | PRICE: DVD $19.95
BONUSES: commentary, deleted and extended scenes
SPECS: PG-13 | 73 min. | Documentary | widescreen | Dolby Digital 2.0

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

A look at people who’ve taken their obsessive love of the Star Wars films to levels far exceeding those of the common moviegoer, a likable 2010 documentary Jedi Junkies is for Star Wars fanatics what the Trekkies fan docs were for Star Trek diehards.

Jedi Junkies

A galaxy of Princess Leias hit a Star Wars convention in Jedi Junkies.

While many of the stories of said fans included in the film are funny and affectionately related–a guy who built a life-size Millennium Falcon in his backyard, a couple of indie filmmakers and their popular online comedy series Chad Vader, a guy who manufacturers personalized light sabers and a group of New Yorkers who train to duel with them—there’s still something serious running through Jedi Junkies when it touches upon fan obsessiveness. This uncomfortable trait is best revealed when the film looks at collectors, particularly those who sacrifice living space, leisure time and a whole lot of money to grow their collections (which include everything from action figures to foreign and domestic versions of the same items to Star Wars potato chips). When asked what he would say to someone who was considering becoming a Star Wars merchandise hound, one addled collector exclaims, “Don’t do it! You’ll end up having no room to live and sleeping on the floor!”

Some lighter interview moments include snippets from actors Peter Mayhew (“Chewbacca”) and Ray Park (“Darth Maul”), as well as geek goddess Olivia Munn (The Newsroom), who offers that she would let a diehard Star Wars geek grope her breasts if he could prove that he had never previously come to grips with a woman.

Available briefly on DVD back in 2010, Jedi Junkies returns outfitted with a bunch of extras, including a commentary track by director Mark Edlitz and his producing partners and a handful of deleted and extended scenes. Among them are a longer piece about the cult surrounding Princess Leia’s enslavement by Jabba the Hutt in Return of the Jedi. That the image of actress Carrie Fisher’s “Slave Leia” clad in her iconic metallic bikini has become fantasy fodder for boys and men for the past three decades isn’t all that surprising, I guess. And that Star Wars conventions are attended by dozens of women clad as Slave Leias who dance their way across the exhibition hall and pose for pics with anxious isn’t hard to believe either….

 

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.