Sat 13 Nov 2010
Sharing a passion for something in life is a universal human experience. That connection with other people who enjoy the same interests is important; whether it’s cheering on your hometown sports team, forming a knitting circle or, in the case of the documentary “Jedi Junkies”, celebrating your love of the Star Wars universe.
In the film, director Mark Edlitz and his team compile a collection of testimonials from fans, collectors and those who worked on/in the films. It’s a bit like “Trekkies” but there is no central narrator or guide to link it all together.
We’re introduced to fan fiction filmmakers (one of whom built a life-size Millenium Falcon out of wood), watch clips from the popular “Chad Vadar” web series, shown massive collections of memorabilia and even get a look at the work of the New York Jedi – a group that teaches people how to use lightsabers and performs at a variety of conventions and functions. It’s all good fun, and for those who understand the films, the culture and/or have experience attending sci-fi conventions like Big Apple Con, or San Diego’s own Comic-Con, you know what to expect here.
While I can understand it would have been a problem financially, it would have been nice to get a more global perspective on things; actually visiting international conventions, or even leaving the East Coast for that matter. Also, the lack of a central narrative made me feel all of the relatively short 75 minute runtime.
Still, as someone who grew up on the original trilogy and a massive geek/nerd/dork myself, I very much enjoyed watching this doc. “Jedi Junkies” exhibits the love and respect people hold for Star Wars and should not be missed by any self-proclaiming fan, no matter how scruffy the nerfherder. A 3.5 out of 5, this is clearly the work of people working with far more passion than dollars in order to make it happen but I commend them for encapsulating such a wide variety of ways that people express their admiration for everything that takes place in a galaxy, far, far away.
Sadly, there are no special features on the disc. While documentaries rarely lend themselves to such things, one way to make purchasing the DVD worthwhile for more than the hardcore fan would have been to include extra material that didn’t make the final cut, even if it was only additional footage chopped for pacing.
Whether you’re a casual or hardcore Star Wars fan, a Trekkie or a Trekker, or even someone not under the influence of a major sci-fi franchise, “Jedi Junkies” is an interesting study of the human condition. The lack of features make purchasing the DVD outright something I wouldn’t recommend but if the subject matter seems interesting, keep this on your rental radar.