With the Star Wars universe now in the middle of a massive expansion the likes of which we’ve never seen in the franchise’s 37 year history, it’s as good a time as any for fans to revisit original trilogy. (Hopefully that will one day include Blu-ray versions of the original cuts, but we’re not holding our breath for that to happen any time soon.) And if you’re looking for a creative way to indulge your fandom, you might be interested in checking out The Empire Strikes Back Uncut, a shot-for-shot fan made recreation of the best sequel in science fiction, maybe in all of cinema history.
Above is the trailer for the film, which you may want to check out first before you dive head first into the movie, as this is a curious thing to behold. This gives you an idea of the adventure you’re about to embark on, at least in an aesthetic sense.
Empire Uncut is a follow up to the Emmy-winning Star Wars Uncut from 2010, and if nothing else, it is a detailed, sprawling illustration of the depth of feeling fans have for the Star Wars movies. Directed by Casey Pugh, who also oversaw the first offering, this project kicked off in 2013. What happened here is that Empire was broken down into 15-second chunks and then claimed by fans who took their segment and interpreted them as they wanted.
As you can imagine, there is quite an array things to see here. The finished product is a surreal hodgepodge of styles, approaches, and levels of competence that you really have to witness to understand. 480 segments were selected from more than 1500 submissions and stitched together into a final film that includes live action, CGI, animation, silent film homage, and an insane array of other approaches you would never in a million years have otherwise considered.
As strange and bizarre as it is, there’s still a level of coherence and fan-made charm that runs throughout, and you can really feel the affection and enthusiasm people have for this project, and by extension, these films.
If you have a couple hours to kill, by all means, check out the full movie below, it’s definitely a sight worth taking a good long look at:
You should also watch the beginning of Empire Uncut to hear what Mary Franklin, Lucasfilm’s senior events and fan relations lead, has to say about the upcoming Star Wars fan film awards. One thing you have to hand Lucasfilm is that, as protective as they are of their franchise, they’re totally down with the fans and the creative ways they express their devotion.