Star Wars is dead to me, but not my faith in the Star Wars Fandom. I have just seen the best Star Wars anything since Return of the Jedi. A Fan Film just shamed Disney and I LOVE IT! A short live stream to talk about it. Go see it then join me!
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Starting with the negatives… Some of the dialogue is weak. The writer used certains words that don’t sound right e.g. Vader saying he was “fine”. Some of the Sidious’ dialogue delivery is wrong e.g. he rushes his lines at times. I find both of these things interesting because it illustrates things directors not only have to be able to realise are wrong but need to be able to correct.
There are some major fanboy errors that stem from what is, to be fair, a very common misunderstanding of jedi and sith powers e.g. sith prefer not to use the force for defence since that is a jedi province of expertise and the way one uses the force impacts on the power and effectiveness of the user. So having sith using the force for defence is not in keeping with Lucas’ rules. N.B. Lucas has never stated these rules explicitly but his films illustrate them very consistently e.g. Vader, when Han shoots at him in TESB, blocked the bolts with the force *initially* then quickly ripped the gun out of his hand. He could have stood there all day blocking the bolts, could have ignited his lightsaber to defend himself but he didn’t. He stopped the need to use the force defensively as soon as possible.
The relationship between Vader and Sidious as depicted doesn’t work for me. While the idea of a sith master and apprentice is canon the nature of the sith seems to make any such relationship inherently precarious. The master must somehow have his apprentice firmly under his thumb. The fighting they did seemed childish and petty, unbecoming of either. Any screenplay that wishes to delve deeper into such things as sith relationships and feelings must resolve all questions as to their most fundamental motivations. As I see it, this screenplay is trying to go where no one with any sense should go because villains work best surrounded in mystery and operating out of the shadows. I don’t believe that there’s anything of merit to be gained from shining light onto the inner thoughts of a sith. One needs to ask what type of a film should a Star Wars episode be. Should it be an introspective deconstruction of sith personality and inner thoughts or should it be about showing the audience some action the sith motivations of which are obvious e.g. the sith’s objective is to conquer planet X and capture the scorpion crystal? Do audiences want a Star Wars film that works like a soap opera of the minutiae of character interactions? No. Star Wars is epic in scope, the themes Shakespearean in nature.
The positives: As a fan film this stands head and shoulders above most such fare. The sets, costumes, make-up, art design, special effects, music, sound, even the credits are all excellent. The voice acting is almost perfect (when matching James Earl Jones is surely ‘mission impossible’). I’d love to know how much it cost and how long it took them to do. These guys aren’t mere fans. They seem to have had professional level training of some kind. Are they film school graduates? It speaks volumes that their film strongly suggests this.