Star Wars Fan Film Festival Episode II
It’s May 4th-that’s Star Wars Day to all you uninitiated-so I figured I would once again do a blog review about three Star Wars fan films that I found out in the ether.
Kenobi-A Star Wars Fan Film
Directed by Jason Satterlund
Owen Lars (Tommy Snider) does not feel it’s safe for Obi-Wan (Jamie Costa) to be so close to Luke and after a heated discussion Lars convinces Obi-Wan to go away but the Empire arrives and stumbles across young Luke and now Obi-Wan must save him.
This was a total random suggestion by YouTube. The same guy that was involved with Solo: A Smugglers Trade plays Obi-Wan Kenobi here. It looks as if Jamie Costa is aiming to make a career out of Star Wars Fan Films. I am not complaining. So far he has produced stuff that exceeds the quality of the recent Disney films and on a lower budget and smaller staff.
Costa does a good job of filling in for the legendary Sir Alec Guinness and the talented Ewan McGregor. He has the mannerisms and the voice down without simply impersonating them. He gives Kenobi a weary feel.
Jamie Costa gets the feel of Star Wars right in his screenplay. He is either a passionate fan or a stickler for authenticity. He needs to be put in charge of a show or something. The man makes some of the better off brand Star Wars stuff.
This short looks like it popped right out of the Star Wars Universe even though there is very little in the way of sets. We have just enough to immerse you in the world of Star Wars. The script and dialogue make this feel as if this story is a direct outgrowth of the Lucas Era and not the “Wait! There’s more” era of Disney. The action and the acting are pretty good in this movie. I found the quick battle at the end exciting with just a sprinkling of doubt on the outcome even though who the victor is is pretty much preordained. Kenobi-A Star Wars Fan Film is a great fan film that honors its inspiration. You will enjoy this short.
Darth Maul: Apprentice-A Star Wars Fan Film
Directed by Shawn Bu
A mysterious signal leads a group of Jedi and a Padawan to a far-off planet where they encounter Darth Maul (Ben Schamma) and must now struggle to survive the Sith apprentice.
The film is amazingly well done and has some seriously badass lightsaber fights. The battle choreography is stupendous. The fights are frenetic and do not skimp on the excitement. And the conflict at the end with the Rey look alike padawan (Svenja Jung) is tinged with hopelessness even though you are hoping she wins.
Darth Maul speaks little in this movie which ups the intimidation factor. He is a menacing looking character and when those types are silent, they are just so cool. He comes off as almost a force of nature here.
The only drawback to this film is it looks like the environment was ripped out of an episode of Stargate SG1. If you watched that show, every planet looked like Canada. Strangely this was all filmed in Germany, so I am not sure what the what is here.
Best of all this film is a prequel to the first prequel in that this was all orchestrated by Darth Sidious (Dirk Chwialkowsky performance/Lee Hua voice) to prepare Maul and mark the beginning of the end of the Jedi. Darth Maul: Apprentice-A Star Wars Fan Film is a great film that has what should be a classic Star Wars lightsaber duel in it. It is a solid and intense story that fits in well with the tone of the prequels. I know I am being greedy, but I wish it was longer because it was that good. Set some time aside and enjoy.
Odyssey: A Star Wars Story
Directed by Mark Alex Vogt
Rebels on an offensive mission against the Empire must make a life or death decision.
The story itself is about what it means to be a soldier and to do the right thing through the eyes of a character called Quinn (Mitchell Smalenski). It is a bit of a flashback with what should have been the beginning playing at the end. The soldier has to make a choice: do people die and complete the mission or should he shoot at the imperial soldiers which are about to kill the father and son and save their lives and endanger the mission? There are no good options.
They get the look of the Star Wars equipment right-at least when it comes to the Imperials. The Rebels unfortunately look like a bunch of soldiers from earth. The uniforms feel a bit like army surplus. Visually it is not too bad. It relies mostly on narration from an unnamed character on the dropship. Not the best Star Wars fan film but it is a solid enough effort.