Star Wars is one of the biggest franchises that has been around for over forty years, but right now, it’s one of the most divided. Star Wars fans needed a film to be excited about and now, thanks to a YouTuber named Star Wars Theory, we now do. Star Wars Theory is a YouTube channel about all things Star Wars, which consists of fanfictions told through voice-overs and cool pictures and some animations. I’ve been following the channel for some time now, and I can’t get enough. Often times, the fanfictions are what if scenarios played out canonically to the franchise, such as: What If Qui-Gon Trained Anakin? Over the past year, Star Wars Theory spent $150,000 of his own money to make a fan film about Darth Vader, Star Wars main villain and probably one of the most well-known and well-loved Villains of all time. His Vader fan film, titled: “Shards of the Past,” was released in a theater in LA on Thursday, December 20th for the premier, which turned out to be a huge success. He made no profit from the film, and as such, tickets were free for all fans who wanted to come. Yesterday, on December 21st, he released it on YouTube.
Giving as little spoilers as possible, the film starts with a very intense action scene. Vader is immediately front and center, which excited me. They nailed his movements, his dialogue, and his voice, especially. If not done properly, Vader can come off really odd, but the actors did a fantastic job. The special effects weren’t obviously CGI and it felt like an actual Star Wars film right off the bat. I found Sidious’ voice to match Ian McDermond perfectly, although in the face and makeup, he did look differently. Despite this, I was immersed into the story and the dynamic that it set up between the two villains. There was a bit of confusion for me at first, because it seemed like they were going out of cannon, but there was a reveal and then I understood that they stayed cannon and true to the franchise.
One of my favorite scenes in the twelve-minute film (sixteen with end credits), was when they showed Vader in the med center hanging in mid-air without any of his limbs and a mask over his mouth. I got chills all over and it was the first time we’ve ever seen something like that on screen. I’ve seen pictures of the comics where they showed a similar scene; according to cannon, Vader often has to have his suit taken off and his droid limbs removed, which causes immense amounts of pain, and this looked like the comic had come to life. I was blown away.
As the story progresses, he’s sent on a mission. The interactions with Vader and Sidious and their dynamic are just… superb. We’ve never really seen them interact before, other than when Sidious as Palpatine was luring Anakin to the Dark Side, so this is sort of new, other than a few brief scenes in the original trilogy. I’ve felt that this is a special period that could be expanded upon, because the originals couldn’t since the prequels hadn’t been made yet. There’s so much emotion and development to Vader’s character that could be done, and I feel like Shards of the Past did just that. It really got us deep into Vader’s personal thoughts, which for a masked character that only has emotion shown through his mechanical voice, is so important.
For the first time, we’ve seen development in Vader that we’ve never been able to before. I wish this was official cannon. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Shards of the Past is how you make a Star Wars film. It was done completely out of passion for Star Wars and that really showed in the acting, the storytelling, the production, the music – which really pulled on my heartstrings as well – to the final touches and everything in the film itself. This, to me, was better than the sequel trilogy.
I have to give Star Wars Theory a huge hand of applause. I feel like he deserves to be in charge of Lucasfilm or directing main Star Wars films. With him at the helm, or at least, passion like his driving the fandom, we wouldn’t have the divide in the fandom that we do today. Regardless of which side of the divide you’re on, it’s impossible to deny that the fandom is split farther than it ever has before.
Shards of the Past, Star Wars Theory’s first fan film has brought Star Wars fans together again and I hope so much that it becomes HUGE. I hope Lucasfilm is watching and paying close attention, because their movie Solo lost a lot of money in the box office (whether you loved it, hated it, or didn’t care, numbers don’t lie). Lucasfilm needs to put more passion into future Star Wars films and no politics because the fans are getting fed up with it.
For me, personally, all day yesterday I was excited and hyped about the Vader fan film. I haven’t been that hyped for a Star Wars film since Episode 7, simply because it was the first in such a long time. After watching the Vader fan film, it met my expectations and more, which Episode 7 failed to do. Not that I’m comparing here. My point is that the hype for a Star Wars film is what I and I’m sure a lot of Star Wars fans out there have been missing.
Star Wars Theory knows what he’s doing. More than that, he’s just another fan like you and me who wants to see Star Wars succeed. He did this for us, for fun, and because he loves Star Wars. It’s time for Star Wars fans to unite to bring the fandom back together. And it’s time for Disney and Lucasfilm to help us mend and heal the fandom and make this franchise as great as it used to be.
Overall, the Star Wars Theory fan film, Episode 1, Shards of the Past was a booming 5 out of 5 stars! I loved every second of it and I desperately need the second episode. I donated $2 to Star Wars Theory’s channel because he deserves so much for what he’s done (and I’m hoping he’ll find the money to make Episode 2 soon; I can’t wait!
Have you guys seen it? If not, go to this link and watch it now, and tell me what you guys think of it!