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THE MOVIE: Fanboys

Kristen Bell • Jay Baruchel • Dan Fogler • Christopher Marquette • Sam Huntington
DIRECTOR: Kyle Newman

Set in 1998, a group of young, passionate Star Wars fans make a cross-country quest to break into George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch, so that their friend Linus (Marquette), who is dying of cancer, can watch Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace before it’s released.

U.S. RELEASE: February 6 2009, Limited • Rated: PG-13


“If you look online, there are so many Star Wars fan films. This was like us getting to make almost an official fan film because we were all such fans. It was all these incredible things which I never expected when we started to make this movie – never knowing if we were going to get Lucasfilm approvals, never even planning to get so many cameos, never planning to actually get to shoot on the Skywalker Ranch, which no one has ever gotten to do before.”

Fanboys“When I got the script I was like, ‘My God, this is paying homage to almost every single aspect of my childhood, every movie I’ve ever loved, not just Star Wars, but Star Trek, although I love Star Wars more, so I signed on right away. I just have a real love affair with the time that I grew up in. Doesn’t everybody? You get nostalgic and this was like the perfect opportunity to play out all those fantasies that I had as a kid, like when are you ever going to be able to dive with a ray gun through a glass door? The best parts of the movie were when we were reenacting those great parts for the Star Wars series that I love, like the van I drive with the light speed. All of these moments were really cool.”

Fanboys“We all had a good time, a lot of times you go on location and you’re working pretty much all day, every day, and by the end of the day you’re tired and you don’t want to do anything. This time it was like, ‘What are we doing for dinner?’ It was like camp.”

“Yeah, it really was. I also feel like we were all in it for the same reason, to make a really great movie but, at the same time, we just wanted to have a good time and to have a bond, and it wasn’t hard. Kyle was kind of the driving force, he was like, ‘Hey, you guys want to go to the weapons depot? Let’s go pick up some pellet guns and some knives and shoot each other and fight.’ He was the motivator and got us out.”

MARQUETTE on the fact that in the movie Linus doesn’t give away any information about The Phantom Menace to his friends:
“Linus was dying and, at the end of the day, the whole reason of why they did this was specifically for him, and a big part of the argument in my head was ‘do you say anything? Are you going to ruin this for your friends now that you’ve seen it?’ I think the ideal ultimate fan keeps it for himself and doesn’t spoil it for everybody and ruin whatever Lucas is trying to do.”

NEWMAN on getting Carrie Fisher to do a cameo in the movie:
“She was very smart and approached it like a screenwriter. She said, ‘Look, I’m playing someone else, but in many people’s eyes I’m still going to be Princess Leia in the context of this movie. So I gotta do something positive.’ So we pitched her three scenes and we went into her trailer and said, ‘Here are the three scenes.’ And she said,’ Alright, I’m going to read them. Come back in 15 minutes.’ We came back and she was like, ‘I want to do this one.’”

FOGLER on the guest stars who appear in the movie:
“Billy Dee Williams was really cool. I [told him], ‘I played Lando Calrissian on my block when I was a child.’ And of course seeing Carrie Fisher, Princess Leia, who has this Hollywood history, and then seeing her on the set joking around with us as a normal human being was amazing.”

NEWMAN on having the producer of Star Wars, Rick McCallum, do a cameo in the movie:
“Rick did a little bit that might be on the DVD. It’s not in the film. It tonally wasn’t right but I thought it was fun that he was there. When the guys were driving off [from the Ranch] he’s waving goodbye and he says, ‘Losers!’ It’s funny, but there was a tone to it at that point where we were going into the last scene where Linus is alive [that didn’t work], so it’s better as a DVD kind of moment.”

FOGLER on why Star Wars fans should see the movie:
“I think from the beginning to the end they will find numerous things that will warm their hearts. It’s so nostalgic, it pays homage to not just Star Wars but I guess all the movies that I watched growing up, and I also think they’ll identify with a lot of the characters and they’ll see themselves in it. There isn’t a movie out there that is for them, that reveres them. This is really a celebration.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Images above © The Weinstein Company
Feature © 2009 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #701, December 2008 cover

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