Beyond the occasional stupendous fan film I’ve really been disenchanted by the whole Star Wars universe for a few years now. It just doesn’t hold the excitement for me it once did. Perhaps because I’m older now or perhaps too much Star Wars over kill or maybe a combination of the two.
I remember the years after Return of the Jedi came out as the merchandise began to dwindle from the shelves and to quench the Star Wars thirst all we had were a couple short lived cartoon series and a couple made for television Ewok Adventures. Even the comic book series produced my Marvel Comics was cancelled. There became a Star Wars void at a time when the fans wanted more.
As the 1990s rolled in the fan’s call was heeded in the form of an excellent trilogy of books by Timothy Zahn. A viral sensation fan film named Troops was put online. Action figures and accessories were being released in the stores again. Dark Horse Comics blew me away with their Dark Empire series. Let’s not leave out the “Special Editions” that came to a theater near you. Han shot first damn it!!!
And FINALLY! The mother of all announcements. George Lucas would produce a whole new series of prequels. I must of watched the trailer for The Phantom Menace a kazillion times. But then I actually went to see the movie.
I like the prequels. I don’t love them. I like them. They had some terrible acting, terrible dialogue, and plot holes you could drive a convoy through, but they’re still – on the most part – enjoyable. They just don’t have the rewatchability of the original three.
Then came a wave of merchandising that was overwhelming. I was a collector of Star Wars. I have totes and totes of action figures and ships in my basement crying to be free. I indicate I “was” a collector because I stopped the same reason I stopped collecting comics. No. Not because it was time to grow up. That will never happen. I stopped because of absolute overkill. You have special edition figures, store exclusives, convention exclusives, variants, mailaways – it just turned the fun of collecting into not being so fun.
Then came the pretty solid Clone Wars cartoon and then the other Clone Wars cartoon. I couldn’t make it through the first three episodes or the movie release or whatever you’d like to call it. I’ve been told it got a lot better afterwards, but I just don’t care anymore. I don’t care about Star Wars. That’s tragic.
THEN! I found Star Wars Begins this very morning as I was hunting for new fan films. It was right there on YouTube. And not only was there a Star Wars Begins, but a Building Empire and a Returning To Jedi. And I started watching. The feeling for Star Wars that I haven’t had for years came back through these amazing, fan made documentaries. Jamie Benning (aka Jambe Davdar or maybe visa versa) is the editor behind these ambitious projects. He took massive amounts of media material putting together an unbelievable commentary that fans wished would of happened with the officially released films. These blow away any documentaries or commentaries on the three films from a galaxy far, far away that I’ve seen to date. Yes. They’re that good.
Star Wars Begins
Returning To Jedi