Friday, February 5, 2016


Just fyi, this is a fan-film.

I know, I know... And I agree. Normally I wouldn't bother posting a fan-film, because they're usually terrible. In fact, they're often overwhelmingly amateurish, hacky, and just plain old stupid. I know this. Add to that, the fact that I have a complicated relationship with Star Wars stuff at this point. Like all aging geeks, I grew up on the original trilogy, and it totally kick-started my creative engine, but at this point... I kind of hate it, each new thing that comes out often ends up feeling stagnant somehow, or it just kind of disappoints me... and yet, I still love the stupid thing. I'm still drawn to Star Wars, its creatures, its trappings, its stars, and its wars... I still love it even though it almost always disappoints me. So why would I bother posting this? Well... sometimes a short film like this pops up often enough in certain places, and you start thinking maybe you should check it out.

So I'm gonna. Fingers crossed. 

This is the cycle...

KARA is a Star Wars fan-film by written and directed by Joe Sill, with a super-nerdy additional writing credit given to George Lucas. Mr. Sill appears to have done a lot of shorts and a lot of visual effects work already, so it sounds to me that at the very least, he might have the experience and technical know-how needed to raise this short film out of the fan-film dumpster, but we shall see...

Here's the synopsis: A veteran X-Wing pilot helps transport a young girl with mysterious powers and her desperate father to an underground Rebel base.

Hmmm, that's not bad. Simple and to the point, and it details a story with an easily identified beginning, middle, and ending. So far, so good. 

Let's see what happens...

That was not too bad, right?

Here's some things I liked right from the start... I liked the female X-Wing pilot. That's something you don't get very often, so it was nice to see that front and center. I liked the Star Destroyer hanging there in the atmosphere, that's just a cool image. I also liked that the film did a really good job of establishing the characters, who they were, and what they wanted. Yes, it was all kept simple, but honestly, this short film did a much, much better job introducing its story and establishing its characters than Force Awakens ever did, better by a long shot. Most of all, I really liked how the film told a whole story. Yes, it was pretty succinct, and more could certainly happen, but writer/director Sill approached it the right way, at least by my definition. He chose a single moment, and told a story with some arcs. Not many short films do this.

So good job, Joe Sill.

Anyway, any complaints I have are just your basic run of the mill stuff that you'll run into when there isn't that much money to spend. The effects were occasionally wonky, and the geography of everything wasn't that clear, but those aren't really deal-breakers in this case, at least not for me. On the Geek side of things, that "rebel base" seemed awfully out in the open to be hidden, and if I'm being honest, I'm pretty much over Star Wars Desert Planets forever. I'd be happy if they never visit another one again. Also, I thought the approach to the Force was all wrong. This film treated it like some kind of mutant super power, and that's not how it is in basically every other Star Wars thing ever. Plus, the whole "she can't control" aspect seemed not only untrue, but unnecessary.

So, small complaints. 

In the end, this was all right, especially considering that it was a fan-film.

Impressed, I am,

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