It’s May 4th-that’s Star Wars Day to all you uninitiated-so I figured I would do a post about three Star Wars fan films that I found entertaining.
TIE Fighter-short film
- Directed by Paul Johnson
- March 24, 2015
The Rebellion attacks and the Empire strikes back with its elite pilots.
The story is pretty basic. The Rebellion strikes and this short 7 1/2-minute film focuses on the Imperial TIE fighter pilots dispatched to defeat them.
Most Star Wars fan films tell their story from the point of view of the Rebels. This one is unusual in that it focuses on the Empire. This is also done by a seriously dedicated. There are tons of in universe ships featured in this short piece.
Reportedly Johnson worked on this for over four years on weekends. This is done in the style of 80s anime but also mimics the 1994 Star Wars: TIE Fighter videogame. It also uses sound effects from that game and emulates the logo as well.
The story is exciting and visually amazing. This is the way I would like to see a Star Wars cartoon look. It has all the style and all the cool visuals I think belong in Star Wars animation. I’m not pooping on Rebels or even Clone Wars, but this looks really cool for hand-drawn animation. The anime vibe here works well.
Overall TIE Fighter-short film is an entertaining animated vision. Watch it!
- Directed by Roman Santa Croce
- December 25, 2020
A Rebel squad is sent to secure an asset but find themselves hunted.
Bossk: Scorekeeper supports some pretty good production values. It is also done in a narrative style closer to the original Predator than to any of the Star Wars films yet it feels very Star Wars in its look and execution. It has many of the same beats as the films and even some of the costuming and characters are reminiscent of individuals from them. This is proof you can be different with Star Wars and still fit in. I am looking at you Rian Johnson.
Though the titular character of Bossk (Roman Santa Croce pulling double duty) does not get too much screen time here he is a presence throughout. His reveal comes at the end, and it is quite worth the wait. We also get introduced to the comic book character Dr. Aphra (Courtney Chen) who has yet to make a canonical animated or live action appearance but is a big deal in the comics.
The production values are good. Star Wars fan films are looking better and better all the time. This looks professional. The acting is pretty good with the weakest being Chen. She is a little stiff.
Bossk: Scorekeeper is a quality story presented in a well-done short film. This something all Star Wars fans should see.
Star Wars Origins
- Written and Directed by Phil Hawkins
- December 12, 2019
Nazis are closing in on a dig in Egypt that could have world altering implications.
This film takes the long time ago in a galaxy far, far away notion and runs with it. Like its name implies Star Wars Origins tells how the Star Wars film universe essentially came to be. Sort of. It is an interesting take on things that blurs fact and fiction while drawing inspiration from Indiana Jones and blending it with the world of Star Wars.
In this film events of Star Wars are indeed real and they did indeed happen a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away and at some point some of that galaxy landed here. I have a vague recollection of one of the early Star Wars novels implying something similar, but this just goes all in with the idea.
We have the actor from some of my favorite Star Wars fan films (Star Wars: A Smuggler’s Trade and Kenobi: A Star Wars Story) showing up yet again in a great Star Wars fan film. Here Jamie Costa is cast as Walter. This man should be given the ability to craft at least one Star Wars TV show. He gets the material and he knows how to expand upon it without screwing it up. Costa is not as involved here as he was in the two I mentioned but he shows himself as a fine actor. He is paired with Marie Everett as Ellie and the two form the emotional core of the story.
The production values are fantastic and we get not one but two payoffs in this movie. The first is when a lightsaber gets used. The second is the appearance of an Imperial Star Destroyer. You will be surprised to the point you go back in your seat.
There are a sprinkling of a few classic Star Wars lines in the film. And they do it naturally. “I know.” “That’s no moon.” “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” All show up appropriately. They do not put a spotlight on them and if you are engrossed in the story (and you will be, you will be) or not looking for those nods to the films you might miss them.
The story is tight and a great bit of alternate history storytelling that relates the “true” origin of how George Lucas came up with Star Wars. This film is so good and well done that Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, approves of it. That is a stamp of approval anyone that makes these would desire.
I highly recommend you check Star Wars Origins out. It has got a great story and great action and supported by great acting and is most definitely watch it! I dare say it is a classic fan film.