Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Star Wars: Emergence

As an experiment, I've been watching a bunch of Fan Films lately, and let me tell you, this little experiment is real close to breaking me. Why, you ask?

Well, click here to see how it's been going so far.

Today's fan film is called Star Wars: Emergence, and guess what... it's about god damn Jedi... again. Emergence is Directed by Jacob Watson and Bryson Alley, and Written by Bryson Alley and Chelsea Alley, and this is basically the first time out of the gate for all of them, personal film project-wise. So, let me just say good luck to them right here at the start of things, mostly because I'm assuming that the long hours of devotion, of slaving away at the thankless task of trying to get this film off the ground, has resulted in a love triangle forming between the three of them, despite the fact that two of them are most likely married. It's sad, but unfortunately, logic can't stop the heart when it sees something it wants, even if realizing this desire can only mean tears and broken hearts and shattered bonds that were once so, so strong, truly a tale as old as time. No one wants something like this to happen, of course, but artists--especially young ones--are a passionate people.


But whatever... here's the synopsis: Alenna, a Jedi Padawan, is blinded in an ambush designed to leave her dead. Facing inner demons and dangerous foes, she must rediscover her purpose and identity as a Jedi Knight.

Oh, fantastic... another blind Jedi. I guess we all know what's coming, huh?

Well, lets get to it.

This is a good example of some of fandom's biggest problems.

To begin with, the film is trying way too hard to be considered a serious piece of art, and it just ends up looking silly. It's a short film, people, and yet it seems to completely lack any awareness of the constraints of its budget, length, or capability, so what we end up with is a story with no context, and what little narrative we do know centers on space wizards, so this deep well of emotional weight the film is striving for just ends up seeming shallow and unearned. The film also spends so much time trying to get us to feel the main character's incredible pain and loss and the steely determination with which she overcomes her obstacles, that it forgets (or never realized) that the character is a complete stranger to the audience, someone we just met like, 46 seconds ago. It just doesn't work. And to top it all off, in the end, right as we finally reach the crescendo, right before we get to the actual fun stuff, the big pay-off of all that weeping and melodrama... Roll credits.

What's the point?


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