I was born in 1980, right at the heart of the Star Wars phenomenon. Like most guys my age, I grew up with Star Wars, and obsessed over it. I had all the toys, and sold them to a friend who made a killing on Ebay. I had Return of the Jedi sheets, and destroyed them at a high school toga party. I was Luke Skywalker for Halloween, but I won’t say how old I was.
Fanboys is about a group of twenty-somethings who are even bigger geeks than I am. They are so obsessed in fact, they turn to a life of crime. One of these guys, Linus, is terminally ill and has waited years for the release of Episode I, The Phantom Menace. The group decides they have to steal a copy of The Phantom Menace from Skywalker Ranch before its release. Linus must see the movie before he dies.
Fanboys combines the all American road movie with Star Wars. It has its share of standard road movie adventure, plus there are many great references and hilarious discussions regarding the series. Real fanboys will love this movie just for the subject matter; but it’s not only for fans. The characters don’t take themselves too seriously. They are fully aware of their nerd-oriety and this will entertain the non-fans. However, they appear less nerdy than the Trekkers they often encounter; Star Trek fans who want to stop the fanboys in their quest. Some folks might not get the inside jokes, but I’m sure they’d find the characters and situations hilarious.
This movie reminded me a lot of Detroit Rock City, and not only because Sam Huntington stars in both. I loved Detroit Rock City. There are plenty of great references and jokes about Kiss, but the movie is funny on its own. The things that happen to the kids along their journey are pretty outrageous. Fanboys is successful in that way too.
The main characters in Fanboys are all over 21. I loved that. To write them as high school kids would have been cliché and that would have killed one of the major themes. Eric (Sam Huntington) has basically “grown up” in the story. He’s thrown away his comics and ditched his friends who are stuck in their childish ways. The others still collect comics, worship Star Wars and refuse to grow up. Writing them as twenty-somethings made the story much more convincing.
I would have liked to see a couple things fixed. The movie is scored with cheesy adventure music similar to the classic John Williams theme. It wasn’t very good and they shouldn’t have tried to pull it off. It reminded me of the Star Wars episode of That 70’s Show and sounded like that rights-free music you can buy for a dollar. I understand if they couldn’t get the actual theme (I hope they tried) but they should have left the goofy adventure music out.
There were also dozens of great cameos from past Star Wars actors. I could list them here, but that would ruin the fun. However, there’s one very important cameo missing, and I consider that a real travesty. Hint - he has a beard.
4 light up sword thingies