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In praise of fan films

Due to advances in filmmaking equipment, it’s much easier (and cheaper) for people to make and distribute short films based on their favourite film, show or game. With a global fan following, it’s no surprise that some of the earliest (and best) examples of fan films are based on Star Wars.

This week saw the release of yet another Star Wars fan film. Within a few days, the latest entry has already generated millions of views. Rather than a new piece of fan-fiction, this short faithfully remakes one of the most iconic scenes in the entire saga, but with a modern twist. The scene in question being the lightsaber duel between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader in the original Star Wars (aka Episode 4 or A New Hope if you’re young/slightly pedantic) – scene 38 to be exact. 

Whilst the original showdown gave audiences their first taste of lightsaber duelling, in later films the fighting style became a lot more acrobatic and intense, especially in the prequels. 

This fan edit from FXitinPost has been developed over a year and is an impressive blend of editing, CGI facial mapping and action choreography more suited to more modern tastes.

Many will no doubt naturally prefer the original, but we think it’s one of the most impressive fan films we’ve seen. It has real respect for the Star Wars canon, without stretching credibility too far.

Whilst on the topic, here are some more of our favourite fan films:

Batman: Dead End

At over 15 years old, this is probably the first fan film we came across, and it still impresses. To give it some perspective, this came out prior to the Nolan films (with Batman and Robin still a painful memory), so for a short time, many fans felt this was the most faithful screen adaptation of the Dark Knight. 

We won’t go into too much story detail because there are some surprises in store over it’s eight-minute run time.

Uncharted with Nathan Fillion

Despite lots of false starts, we still haven’t had an Uncharted movie. The hit PlayStation series is the modern-day Indiana Jones successor with a cinematic style that cries out for a big screen adaptation. 

Whilst a Tom Holland (Spider-Man) starring film is apparently in the works (no doubt focusing on Nathan Drake’s younger years) this recent fan film is the closest thing we’ll get for now.  However, it certainly hits the right notes, particularly with the casting of an actor on many fan’s wish lists –  Nathan Fillion.

The short film demonstrates why Fillion is a popular choice, it appears it was the role he was born to play.  It’s a shame it’ll never happen as the actor isn’t getting any younger and is probably not deemed a big enough name for film’s producers. 

More Star Wars!

As discussed there’s are loads of Star Wars fan films out there, but here’s a couple of our favourites.

Vader – Shards of the Past

A great insight into Vader, with some impressive visuals.

Darth Maul: Apprentice

A cool (if slightly long) look at everyone’s second favourite Sith.

Predator: Dark Ages

As discussed in our Predator Special Podcast, an interesting “what if…” Predator short story set during the Crusades. It amazes me that the official films haven’t delved in the historical mythology more – it has so much potential. Be warned, this film is around 30 minutes long, so get comfy and watch on a big screen, if you can.

Star Wars and Batman!

Ok, this one is a bit of a geek wet dream but who wouldn’t want to see Batman face off against Darth Vader?! Exactly.

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