A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away — okay, no, it was last year and in New York City, but c’mon, go with it — former Vimeo developer Casey Pugh invited the Internet to help him remake Star Wars, one 15-second clip at a time. One Emmy nomination and 904 videos later, it’s now possible to see a whole new A New Hope, created entirely by fans.
Technically, the full-length Star Wars Uncut isn’t a fully edited together version — instead, Pugh programmed an embedded Vimeo player to automatically jump from one scene to the next (because many duplicate versions of scenes exist, it’s the top-rated ones which were selected for the assembly). To watch it, simply go to the Watch page and click the big Play button.
Star Wars Uncut has been compared to Our Footloose Remake, another unauthorized recreation of a beloved film by many, many filmmakers. The difference, though, is that with each creator taking on 15 seconds of the film each, as opposed to five minutes, even more diversity in the approaches is found.
Seriously, watching the full assembly gives you an incredible sense of the project’s scope. Machinima, live-action, Lego, Flash animation, Lady Gaga-inspired posing, action figures, stop motion, small children… All of these and more come together to make a surprisingly watchable version of George Lucas’s iconic film — an edited sample of which is embedded below.
When I spoke with Pugh about the project last January, he said that LucasFilm were huge fans of the project, specifically because he “treated it like an art project.” Things are now potentially moving beyond the art project stage, though — according to the site, a fully edited version of the film has been completed, and “we are working through the legal issues in order to bring that to everyone as soon as possible.”
Star Wars Uncut‘s Emmy nomination for Creative Achievement in Interactive Fiction makes it the only independently-produced project to be recognized in either interactive category. Its reel, presented to Emmy voters, does a great job of showing off exactly why it deserved to be nominated.
It’ll be interesting to see if a win this Saturday at the Creative Arts ceremony — or even the benefit of additional exposure — has any effect on the project’s legal fate.
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