The Forgotten Darth Vader Movie You Can Stream For Free Right Now

Thanks to the magic of the internet, once lost films can be viewed by anyone at anytime, including a lost Darth Vader movie.

By Chad Langen | Updated

Darth Vader in Making Contact

Fans of Star Wars and other popular 80s flicks have an unexpected treasure to unearth, with a forgotten film called Making Contact, which includes a cameo from Darth Vader, now streaming for free on Tubi. Released during the initial Star Wars mania and directed by Roland Emmerich, the movie creatively mixes elements of popular 80s films like The Goonies and E.T. – The Extraterrestrial. Despite its previous obscurity, it’s experiencing a resurgence on the ad-supported streaming platform.

Even before Roland Emmerich became a household name, he was directing high-budget sci-fi spectacles like Stargate and Universal Soldier. However, his journey began in Germany, where he directed a few films that hinted at the grandiose vision he would later incorporate into his Hollywood productions. Among these, Making Contact stood as his first film following the debut of his student film The Noah’s Ark Principle, indicating his propensity for larger-than-life storytelling and love for science fiction.

Making Contact

Making Contact weaves an intriguing tale with its mix of childhood fascination, supernatural aspects, and sci-fi excitement. Despite not achieving the renown of Emmerich’s later blockbusters like Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow, the film exudes a distinctive charm. Moreover, it uniquely connects to the Star Wars universe with nods such as an R2-D2 toy, a child donning a Darth Vader costume, and an unexpected Darth Vader cameo, complete with a red lightsaber, towards the film’s climax.

Released in 1985, Making Contact centers around a nine-year-old boy, Joey Collins, who, after losing his father, believes he has contacted him through a small phone, only to be tormented by a demon-possessed ventriloquist dummy named Fletcher. As Fletcher summons more demons and malevolent forces, including Darth Vader and a giant hamburger, that threaten Joey’s friends, and mother. Amidst this supernatural turmoil, Joey discovers his power of telekinesis, a newfound ability that rapidly spirals out of control.

Making Contact, by disaster movie director Roland Emmerich, includes multiple references to Star Wars, from a Darth Vader appearance to the Millenium Falcon.

Roland Emmerich shows his flair for spectacle and visual storytelling in Making Contact. Working with cinematographer Egon Werdin, Emmerich creates a visually appealing film that effectively uses special effects to enhance its supernatural theme. Also worth noting is the musical score by Hubert Bartholomae, which imbues the film with an additional layer of suspense.

Roland Emmerich has openly acknowledged the profound influence of esteemed filmmakers like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg on his work, an impact vividly seen in Making Contact. The film’s plot borrows significantly from iconic movies like E.T. and Poltergeist. Additionally, Emmerich sprinkles numerous pop culture nods throughout the movie, such as Joey using an E.T. glass for his milk and his bedding adorned with Return of the Jedi motifs.

The Millenium Falcon and a TIE Fighter in Making Contact

Unfortunately, upon its release, Making Contact garnered negative reviews. Currently, the film has a measly audience score of 22 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. While viewers found favor in the multitude of pop culture references peppered throughout the movie, they took issue with the subpar acting, visibly low-budget aesthetic, and poor dialogue.

Despite Making Contact receiving a negative reception overall, there is a standout moment towards the end of the film that clearly thrilled audiences. As the evil ventriloquist doll, Fletcher, compels the children to confront their deepest fears in a labyrinth under an abandoned house, a startling figure materializes from the mist – Darth Vader. Wielding his famed red lightsaber, the Sith Lord’s cameo provides an exciting, unexpected sequence in the film.

Besides the remarkable Darth Vader cameo, Making Contact presents another memorable scene where Joey, the protagonist, seems to have met a tragic end, only for his telekinetic powers to return dramatically. This resurgence is symbolized by a radiant light and a whirlwind of his toys leaving his room in a spectral display. Amid the spectacle of flying toys, the Millennium Falcon makes its presence known, further cementing the Star Wars references.

Helmed by Roland Emmerich, Making Contact features a cast that includes Joshua Morrell, Eva Kryll, Tammy Shields, Jan Zierold, among others. Despite its campy nature, the film is a heartfelt homage to 80s science fiction cinema, skillfully combining elements of adventure and fantasy. Now available for free streaming on Tubi, there’s no reason not to indulge in this unique blend of nostalgia and supernatural thrills. It’s certainly worth the watch for sci-fi fans and curious viewers alike.