Friday, December 7, 2012

Fan Film Friday #1: Forced Alliance

By: Benjamin Hart

Star Wars Fan Films kept my fandom alive for many years, especially after Revenge Of The Sith when there wasn't much Star Wars media to pick from. They can range from tiny stop motion productions, to Lightsaber duels in backyards, to massive, full length epics mimicking the Star Wars films themselves. It can be a challenge tracking down a quality film that's worth watching, that's why I would like to introduce a new segment here on the SWU; Fan Film Fridays. Each week we will hand pick a fan film to share with you here each week and tell you our thoughts on it. This week's featured Fan Film is...

Star Wars: Force Alliance

Director/Executive Producer: Gerardo F. Santos
Writers: Randolph Bookman, Gerardo F. Santos 
Produced by Randolph Bookman, Iris Ichishita
Laura Coker as  Sava
Mark Deklin as Lucan Andril
Jeff Doba as Darth Teros
Jacob Gray as Bocaj
Brian Munce as Merc
Marc Ian Sklar as Brock
Mark Stephen as Daynar
Jesse Warren as Orrin

Watch on Vimeo

Forced Alliance is one of the best produced fan films out there and one of my personal favorites. Set in a classic Star Wars setting, a Cantina, the story involves two Jedi, Lucan Andril, his Padawan Orrin and their confrontation with Darth Teros, along with two, seemingly rouge, Sith. From the costumes, to the props, to the acting to the special affects, everything about this film is top notch. It's no wonder it won both Best Fan Fiction & the Audience Choice Award in the 2007 Star Wars fan film awards. The film is set 50 years after Return Of The Jedi, which is a relativity unexplored area in the Star Wars timeline, and a most interesting one. This film gives us a glimpse at the Jedi of the new order, and obviously a lot has changed, with Andril's mention that he "wasn't always a Jedi." Curiously, Teros' men wear Stormtrooper armor, hinting that they could be part of an Imperial remnant of some kind. I also found it hard to believe that Andril could have been killed simply by a Lightsaber cut to his side, I half-expected him to be revived at the end. The music was done by the very talented Kyle Newmaster, and it's magnificent. Newmaster has also scored another memorable fan film: Ryan Vs Dorkman 2, as well as music for The Old Republic and Star Wars Kinect video games. The only bad thing about this film is the lack of a sequel which is obviously teased at the end. Hope for Force Alliance II is fading being that it was released back in 2007 but I'm not giving up yet. Overall I rate it 10/10. Brilliant!

Also, the recent news of more Star Wars films coming to theaters in 2015 has got me thinking, could Episode VII have a similar story line? A cast of different characters forced together and in search of an elusive Luke Skywalker, who may or many not show up near the end of the film. It certainly is worthy of speculation. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.


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