Unlike in the previous years, we are not getting a new Star Wars film in cinemas this winter. For Episode IX we have to wait until 2019. But if you want to watch something new and Star Wars-themed, there is one option: the fan-created Star Wars films of this year.
The recipients of 2018 Star Wars Fan Awards certainly deserve the recognition they got. There are not only films (including both live action, but also amazing stop-motion and animation films), but also visual art and photography. What are the winners like?
The winner of Filmmaker Select (picked by Dave Filoni) & Best Comedy awards in the Long Video category is “More Machine Than Man” by Mark G. It features a dialogue between ghost Obi-Wan and Luke somewhere in the first part of Return of the Jedi. The topic is simple: what would it look like if Obi-Wan told Luke the harsh truth that he had chopped Anakin’s arms and legs off and left him on fire. It’s quite funny and especially Obi-Wan’s actor imitates Alec Guinness pretty well.
The Audience Choice for Long Video went to “Like My Father Before Me: A Star Wars Story” by Jack C. It is a bit of a classic fan-film in the sense that it features an epic lightsaber battle. However, its originality lies in that it is framed within an old man’s story, and shows that old people can, too, be epic Jedi. (It also features a cool metal-legs Maul.)
“The Kessel Run” by Brian W. is the winner for Best Animation, and for a reason. I dare not guess how much effort did it take to create it. I especially recommend watching it to anyone dabbling in animation, to see what is possible and admire the art.
“Exile: A Star Wars Fan Film” by Noel B. is by far the most traditional fan-film. It includes heavy combat, a story about rising darkness and heroes’ decision to fight it. There is a reason why it has won the Best Choreography and Best Visual Effects category, however. The actors’ performances are most impressive (not only lightsaber acrobatics, but actual acting) and so are the special effects, right from the first shot.
Finally, Spirit of Fandom and Best Stop Motion has been awarded to “Star Wars: The Toys Awaken” by Raymond M. This is a sweet “toy story” about a girl going to TFA premiere, and the toys (including Rey, Finn, Chewie… and “Kyle”) team up to help her with a problem. It goes right in the same box with your classic, sweet Christmas stories. If you have little kids, I recommend showing it to them.
The Short Video stories (all around half a minute long) are equally good and entertaining – many feature punchlines or ideas that I won’t spoil here: just watch them. Sufficient to say, I agree that they deserve the victory places.
Last but not least, there are the Visual Arts and Photography categories that I was initially skeptical about. There was no reason to be. You can see some of the winning pictures throughout this article and judge for yourselves.
To see all winners, go to https://www.starwars.com/news/meet-the-winners-of-the-star-wars-fan-awards-2018 where you will find the entire list.
So there we are – no time like the present to start the holiday season in the company of some fan-created Star Wars content. And perhaps get inspired and start making something for your own next year’s entry.