October 20th, 2014
Recently Time.com asked the fans their choice for the top ten Star Wars fan films of all time. The final list is a mish mash of very good fan films to mediocre fan films. I’m not even sure how “Sith Apprentice” made it on the list. Perhaps the people behind that film rallied for votes. I’m not saying that’s what happened, but only speculating. Sith Apprentice is a fine film, but hardly worthy of being in the top ten.
I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of these films were voted on not for their quality, but because friends and family were asked to vote. It just makes no sense how a film like “Your Lightsaber and You” made it on this list. Really? Seriously? I never even heard of this film. I’ve watched it since and it’s not terrible, but hardly worth slighting some much better films of superior quality. Another one is “Jedi Hunter”. Again – a pretty good production, but not nearly as good as some films that didn’t make the list.
Here is the ranking Time.com came up with:
2. Ryan vs. Dorkman 2
3. I.M.P.S. – The Relentless
4. Pink Five
5. Your Lightsaber and You
6. Hardware Wars
8. Sith Apprentice
9. Jedi Hunter
10. Star Wars Retold
So to clear up the injustice of what was done by Time.com and their top ten Star Wars fan film choices I’ll share with you the films I felt should of been listed and why. I’m sure my list is closer than what Time.com put together.
This one I agree on whole heartily. Troops came along just when the internet was ripe with pictures and video and fans were yearning to see anything in the form of live action taking place in the Star Wars universe. The film became a viral juggernaut. And the special effects were inspirational. It gave notice that anyone with a video camera and a computer could make films equal to what Hollywood was putting out. Troops was released in 1998. It’s amazing how quickly technology has changed and how sophisticated the regular dude and dudette are getting with their home made productions.
2. Hardware Wars:
This made it to the number six slot of the Time.com list right behind the forgettable “Your Lightsaber and You”. This makes me crazy with Fanboy rage. I must correct this grave injustice spawned by a galaxy far, far away. Hardware Wars is what we call in the fan film world a classic. Released in 1978 this spoof has seen resurgence of life about as many times as the original trilogy.
3. The Dark Redemption
This film didn’t even make it onto the Time.com top ten. Another travesty of injustice. All the items on my desk are shaking because I CAN NOT control my emotions. The Dark Redemption was the first and to my knowledge the only live action appearance of the Timothy Zahn created character Mara Jade. I’m sure there’s some obscure fan film out there I haven’t seen that has the character in it. The Dark Redemption was also pulled off the internet by LucasFilm when it was released. Soon after LucasFilm changed their policy towards fan films and The Dark Redemption returned online for all to see. You can speculate as to why the policy was changed. My personal belief is due to the outcry from the fans.
4. Ryan vs. Dorkman 2
The top three are the easy ones. We have reached the point where it gets a little more difficult in the ranking. If I could have seven number fours then it would be so much easier if that makes any sense. There are a lot of fan films on YouTube where the entire thing is a light saber fight. I mean there are a kazillion of those type babies on the internet. None of them will stack up to Ryan vs. Dorkman 2. The choreography and effects are top notch. This production became a staple of inspiration for a plethora of fan films sense.
5. Crossroads of Destiny
From the makers of Contract Of Evil. A fairly new, but surprisingly unknown fan film. Crossroads is a prequel to the prequels with the main character being a very young Obi-Wan Kenobi. The other principles have uncanny likenesses to their original movie counterparts. Everything is in place here; acting, special effects, makeup.
6. Contract Of Evil
Simple plot. Darth Maul is assigned to take down a couple “want-to-be” Sith. The visuals and make-up are outstanding. Enough said!
7. I.M.P.S. The Relentless
Time.com gave this a number three ranking. This series of short films are outstanding productions, but they don’t warrant the number three spot. BUT! Obviously, they do belong in the top ten. I.M.P.S. carries the same approach as Troops where we see the daily lives of your average Imperial grunts told in a humorous manner. These films work not being to over the top to where the jokes weigh down the enjoyment factor. Not to mention the costumes and effects are OUTSTANDING!
8. Broken Allegiance
How did this film not make the top ten? What’s wrong with you fans? How much Bantha fodder have you been smoking? Broken Allegiance is a 2002 Australian-made fan film set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. Two Sith apprentices, Ruan & Calis, escape the Empire by fleeing the planet Coruscant in a stolen transport. They must fight for their freedom when Darth Vader sends a vicious bouty hunter, Korbain Thor, to track them down.
9. Pink Five
You can’t keep this influential film out of the top ten. Pink Five has had an actual impact on the licensed material with an action figure made out of Pink Five’s droid and the character even making an appearance in one of the novels. Perhaps this trilogy of films should be higher on the list, but again it’s hard to rank the bottom seven of these fantastic productions.
10. Knight Quest
This premiered in 2001 when online fan films were few and far between. This filled an empty void for Star Wars material. The acting is not incredibly good, but the visuals and effects are solid. It was another one of those films that raised the bar for the next set of creators who wanted to delve into the Star Wars universe.
And there you have it. I’m confident this is a better list than what Time.com came up with. The films I listed have a more historical and influential meaning in the context of the Star Wars fan film not to mention the sheer entertainment value.
Time.com had Star Wars Retold and Duality in their list as well where I don’t. They would be added if I did a top twenty. Both are great films, but I just don’t think they have the same impact as what I’ve listed. Some other honorable mentions should be Chad Vader, Makazie One, Bounty Trail, Rogue, George Lucas in Love and Revelations.