It speaks volumes about George Lucas’ grip on his fans that two docus about the “Star Wars” craze reaching its peak during the 1999 release of “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” have arrived this year. First, “A Galaxy Far Far Away,” and now, with a touch more craft, Dennis Przywara’s “Starwoids” observe the fanatic subculture that has supplanted the Trekkie underground as the sci-fi geek scene of choice. Przywara seems to adore the true fans and look dubiously on all others, which renders pic a must-see for Jedi believers and an anthropological curiosity at best to apostates.
Przywara spends much time cutting between — or showing in split-screen simultaneity — the long wait for tickets and then for seats for the first screening of “Phantom Menace” at the Village in Westwood and the Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Westwood group headed by Daniel Alter (such a fan of the Village that he always sits in the exact center seat — Row P, Seat 107 — for opening nights) maintains the joy of moviegoing, while the Chinese crowd is seen as dominated by the Oz-operated countingdown.com Web site broadcasting live from Hollywood Boulevard.