Soon after Star Wars premiered in 1977, parodies and fan films emerged.
The first was Hardware Wars, a bargain-basement satire that looked no further than the kitchen junk drawer for special-effects inspiration. Spaceships were old irons and toasters, costumes were cobbled together from scraps, and the script dealt with what was quickly becoming a worldwide phenomenon.
Since then, other movies have been made, some serious, some silly. In recent years, most have found homes on the Internet, where audiences can enjoy movies that play loose with both the Star Wars mythology and copyright law. Here are a few of my favorites:
THE JEDI HUNTER: Reimagining the back story of fan-favorite bounty hunter Boba Fett as a Crocodile Hunter-style reality show starring Boba and his wife, Terri Fett. The commentary on the varied habits and habitats of the Jedi he takes down are hysterical, as is the famous green knight that he "lets" get away. The Jedi Hunter can be viewed at atomfilms.shockwave.com/af/content/jedi_hunter.
PINK FIVE: The story of one of the unsung heroes of the Death Star attack, this short film puts the viewer in the cockpit with Pink Five, a Valley Girl more concerned with helmet hair and the smuggler guy who's "totally crushing on her" than defeating the Empire. Everyone needs priorities. Pink Five can be found at atomfilms.shockwave.com/af/content/pink5.
TROOPS: Patrolling the mean streets - make that dunes - of Tatooine requires a special sort of man. Troops is a Cops-inspired look at the Stormtroopers that enforce Imperial law on the famous Star Wars desert planet, a glimpse at the men beneath the gleaming white armor. Troops is available at www.theforce.net/fanfilms/shortfilms/troops.
STAR WARS: REVELATIONS: The current darling of the Internet, the surprisingly glossy 45-minute film stars minor and made-up characters from the Star Wars universe and spices up proceedings with an appearance by the Man in Black - Vader, not Cash. A very professional product, this movie is proof positive that the digital era has made everyone a potential movie mogul. Star Wars: Revelations can be seen at www.ifilm.com/ifilmdetail/2669337.
Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or firstname.lastname@example.org.