THX 1138 is an ordinary factory worker, producing android police officers for an all-powerful state. He spends his leisure time watching holographic television, attending sporting events, and shopping. Lately, however, something is wrong. He hasn’t been feeling well and his efficiency at work is slipping. He discovers that his female roommate, LUH 3417, has discontinued their mind-numbing, state-mandated medication (a criminal offence). He struggles with novel emotions that fuel an illegal sexual relationship with LUH. He desires to escape with her from the only environment he has ever known. THX, the outsider and outlaw, is on the run.
Before Star Wars there was THX 1138, George Lucas’s directorial debut. The totalitarian society of THX 1138 may be a predecessor of the Empire in Star Wars, a state power exercising total control via the dehumanization of the individual through scientific and technological means.
While the themes may be recognizable from Lucas’s more popular work, the execution could not be more different. THX 1138 is not an accessible movie for the whole family to enjoy. It is an abstract and challenging film. The director's cut on DVD is Lucas's only 'R' rated film.
Fans of dystopian cinema, and of George Lucas, will not be disappointed.