There was a time when fan films were nothing more than small budget passion projects that didn’t quite match the quality of their Hollywood counterparts. However, over the years things have changed. Having probably the biggest cult following, Star Wars fandom has generated hundreds, if not thousands, of good fan films. That said, here are some of our favourite Star Wars fan films.
A fan film is a film or video inspired by a film, television program, comic book or a similar source, created by fans rather than by the source’s copyright holders or creators. Fan filmmakers have traditionally been amateurs, but some of the more notable films have actually been produced by professional filmmakers as film school class projects or as demonstration reels. Fan films vary tremendously in quality, as well as in length, from short faux-teaser trailers for non-existent motion pictures to full-length motion pictures.
1. TIE Fighter
Animator Paul Johnson has worked four long years on this awesome Star Wars fan film. TIE Fighter shows the battle from the viewpoint of the Stormtrooper pilots. This is a must watch for any fan!
2. Darth Maul: Apprentice
Darth Maul: Apprentice focuses on Darth Maul fighting a group of Jedi. It is written, directed, and produced by Shawn Bu of T740 Productions.
3. Days Past
Even though there aren’t any lightsaber battles and laser shootouts, the force is very strong with Days Past. Written, directed and edited by Aaron Kunkel, unlike most fan films, this one focuses on character and gives us a look at the everyday lives of people in the Star Wars universe. Fans of the franchise will recognise familiar costumes and set-pieces neatly hidden away within the frames of the film.
4. Jakku: First Wave
Stormtroopers have always been considered to be nothing but faceless henchman with poor aim. This short film hopes to change that. Jakku: First Wave is a Star Wars fan film centred around three Imperial Stormtroopers right before the battle of Jakku.
5. The Old Republic: Rescue Mission
Old Republic: Rescue Mission has really high-quality production quality and takes place between the events of Drew Karpyshyn’s novel and the popular Knights of the Old Republic game. It’s worth 20-minutes of your time.
6. Boba Fett – The Twelve Parsec Stare
Self-produced by Ruined Films, The Twelve Parsec Stare sees Boba Fett, the infamous intergalactic bounty hunter, tracking his next prey into a dusty saloon in the outskirts of a remote space port.
7. TK-436: A Stormtrooper Story
Star Wars fan films have been around for ages. So many, in fact, that Lucasfilm decided to create a yearly competition to honour the best of the best. TK-436: A Stormtrooper Story was the winner of the 2016 Filmmaker Select Star Wars Fan Film Award.
Joe Sill’s Kara is everything you’d expect from a Star Wars fan film. There are blaster shootouts, an X-Wing-TIE Fighter dogfight and, of course, The Force. Kara introduces a father and daughter who come to the aid of a Rebel pilot shot down in a fierce dogfight, only to quickly find themselves on the run from Imperial Stormtroopers.
9. Star Wars Legends: Legacy of the Force
Adapted from the Star Wars novel “Invincible” by Troy Denning, Star Wars Legends: Legacy of the Force takes you into the last moments of the final conflict between the children of Han Solo and Leia Organa Solo. Again, this has good action and great special effects.
10. Dark Legacy
Dark Legacy, an awesome new Star Wars short by Anthony Pietromonaco, is proof that fan films no longer have to be cringe-worthy adaptations. The force is really strong with this one and it makes full use of CGI and special effects to deliver an exciting 11-minute video worth your time.
Hoshino is a short fan film by director Stephen Vitale that tells the tale of a blind Jedi, named Master Ko Hoshino, that is on a journey to becoming one with the force.
Star Wars fan films are a dime a dozen. But this one is actually really good one. It’s a great character study that’s beautifully shot and also features some pretty cool scenes and visuals. The story itself is concise and pulls from a lot of themes present in the Star Wars movies, especially The Force Awakens.
12. Rebel Scum
Rebel Scum pays homage to the original trilogy and even attempts to create the visual effects without CGI. It was shot on location in -30°C (-22°F) at Columbia Icefield in Alberta Canada. As far as Star Wars fan films go, this one is really well-shot.