Home > Art, Movies, Storytelling, Weekend Feature, Weird and Interesting > Empire Uncut: the other much-anticipated Star Wars movie in production

Empire Uncut: the other much-anticipated Star Wars movie in production

Star Wars Uncut A New Hope claymation

Combine a rabid worldwide fanbase with the internet, add a twist of individual creativity and a dash of inspiration and you get Star Wars Uncut, a tremendously inventive love letter to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope that reshoots the film 15 seconds at a time using fan-made clips.

Try that recipe again and you get director Casey Pugh’s sophomore crowdsourcing effort Empire Uncut, a spliced-together reimagining of The Empire Strikes Back that’s well on its way to release sooner rather than later.

It’s a singularly brilliant tribute to a singularly beloved property.

The premise: fans select a tiny scene from the Special Edition version of the Star Wars movie in question and recreate it shot for shot using their own means. Pugh then assembles the nearly 500 clips into a beat-by-beat recreation of the film and posts it online to create a gorgeous, charming, hideous and hilarious Star Wars film acted out by the viewers who love it most.

Watch the trailer for Star Wars Uncut. You’ll see Lego stormtroopers, fat men in Princess Leia braids, trash can R2-D2s and four-door sedan space battles. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen, and while it’s a far cry from the real thing, that’s where the real charm lies.

Check out this animated approach on the Death Star:

And watch this kid play with his Lego for the scene where Luke buys C-3PO and R2-D2:

Star Wars Uncut is a massive undertaking with a wide range of quality, but all the disparate pieces come together to create a singularly enjoyable film that celebrates the original in a way that only true fans can.

It’s often done in slapdash home video camera fashion, but there’s a huge range of professionalism and creativity in this film that make it worth watching for the artistic merit alone. There are cartoons, action figures, claymation characters and so much more. Sometimes the cast is all dogs; other times it’s all babies. Silent film, text messaging, Facebook and old school eight bit video games all add to the flavour of a singularly unique experience.

This is filmmaking like you’ve never seen before. It’s creativity on the bleeding edge of popular culture, incorporating all the technological nuances of the world we live in to render a galaxy far, far away. Deprived of a film studio and a big budget, it’s truly inspiring to see how people tackle the same special effects challenges in different ways.

Casey Pugh started taking A New Hope submissions in 2009 through his blog. Nine months later the film was complete and Pugh had earned himself – and many others – a Primetime Emmy in interactive media.

The original version(s), posted on Pugh’s website http://www.starwarsuncut.com, were made from a Vimeo-hosted sequence of videos assembled anew with each viewing based on user likes. Every segment of the film had multiple versions, and user feedback informed what version Pugh’s computer program delivered. The first version of Star Wars Uncut was truly movie democracy in action.

On January 18, 2012, Pugh revealed the film to the world when he posted a Director’s Cut of the film on YouTube. It’s since gained over 3 million views. Needless to say, he had some hard choices to make, but the result is a video well worth the two hour investment for any Star Wars fan.

Go watch it for yourself.

With the success of the first film, Pugh is going back to the well again for Empire Uncut. Given the success and widespread media attention the first film received, the second already looks to be a cut above in terms of creativity. There are mobster Darth Vaders, video game button-mashing sequences and a whole lot of Hoth scenes shot in Canada.

Boba Fett Slave 1 Han Solo carbonite Star Wars Empire Uncut

Also, Boba Fett transports Han Solo like he’s a used couch.

No release date has been set yet, but Pugh’s team has 100% of the film reshot and is now accepting secondary approaches to existing scenes. Each scene is laid out already; users just have to lay claim, after which they are given 30 days to produce their submission.

Whether you’re just a casual Star Wars fan or you hope to come back as a blue Force ghost after you die, Star Wars Uncut is a ton of fun to watch, and Empire Uncut promises to up the ante.

Support this project, and maybe we’ll all get to see little dogs in Ewok costumes for Return of the Jedi Uncut.

Star Wars Return of the Jedi dog Ewok costume for Halloween


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