If you throw a rock, you'll hit a Star Wars
fan film or some other homemade tribute to the iconic sci-fi epic. It's interesting to take a look back into the past, however, and see how the fan film has evolved — particularly with a piece of cinema like Star Wars
that relies so heavily on special effects, creature design, and other complex features.
Jay Scheurle and the A Light in the Darkness crew have created two very unique, but vastly different fan films that depict the Star Wars universe. Scheurle and his pals' movie harkens back to the 70's when George Lucas' classic space opera thrilled audiences for the first time, and slutty Star Wars cosplay had yet to become the norm. The film's DIY aesthetic is child-like, a bit crazed, and basically shows what a bunch of buddies hanging out in their basement can accomplish when their imaginations are set free. Shot on Super-8 and using friends and family as cast members, the special effects are old-school through and through — hand-scratching the film to draw images into the picture, using stop-motion animation to depict action and larger than life characters, and using models on wires.
On the other side of the coin is Fed Wetherbee's A Light in the Darkness
fan film series that takes place about one year before the Battle of Yavin, a major victory for the Rebellion. "This film was created for the love of filmmaking and obviously for the love of Star Wars
," Wetherbee writes on his website
. It's a low-budget movie featuring high-quality effects that aims for an involved narrative and realism.
Take a peek at the fan videos below — both spirited tributes to Lucas' galaxy far, far away.
[hat tip to BuzzFeed & io9]