4 Ridiculously Obsessive 'Star Wars' Fan Tributes Ever
As I type this, J.J. Abrams and a no doubt massive crew are off in some ball-sweatingly hot part of the world filming what will probably be Tatooine in the next Star Wars movie. While Star Wars fans such as myself cross our fingers and knock on all the wood we can find, hoping we can finally get the first genuinely good Star Wars movie in decades, other fans out there have taken it upon themselves to reshape either some or all of the first six movies to create their own incredible, weird, or crazy film experiences. After all, we live in a remix culture, where anything someone makes can be transformed into something else entirely. Star Wars is no exception.
Over the years, people have done some ridiculous things with the Star Wars films in an attempt to put their own stamp on the movies they love. Sometimes those things are incredible, other times they're pure nonsense. Here are some of them ...
All Six Movies Playing at Once
There was once an Internet trend that never quite caught on. The trend didn't have a name that I'm aware of, so I'll call it "Let's Play All the Episodes at Once." In an effort to save time (I guess) but also render a TV or movie series entirely unintelligible, people created videos of every episode of, say, Star Trek, playing at the same time:
The result is a flattened disco ball made of Star Trek -- flashing cubes that look like William Shatner is trapped in a bunch of little Phantom Zones. You can watch 130+ episodes of The Simpsons as they harmoniously sync at first before quickly devolving into the sound of Lovecraftian madness. And you can get really creeped out by 156 opening titles of The Twilight Zone at the same time:
So of course someone did it with Star Wars, but George Lucas' army of droid lawyers had the video taken down shortly after it went up. All that exists of the experiment are images. I didn't have much going on back when the video was first posted, so I skipped around some and watched chunks of it. It was a mostly useless video, but watching the series in one shot was somewhat enlightening.
First of all, while the movies began at the exact same time, the opening title sequences didn't sync as well as I would have thought. Imagine six orchestras are locked in a closet and all of them are trying to play their own Star Wars theme loud enough for their version to be heard above the other five. If instruments could fight, a symphonic gang war would sound like the opening titles to all six Star Wars movies playing at once.
Some of the moments that mirror one another in the narrative happen at roughly the same time across movies. Luke falling after getting his hand cut off in The Empire Strikes Back and Vader tossing the Emperor into the pit in Return of the Jedi happen almost simultaneously. The Death Stars in A New Hope and Return of the Jedi explode within a minute of each other.
And there was an odd pattern seen throughout the video: There's almost never a moment when watching all six movies at once that R2-D2 and C-3PO aren't on screen. When they exit from one movie, they enter another. It's purely coincidental, but after a while, it started to make me think the real story of Star Wars was two robotic Forrest Gumps who happened to wander into every major historical event in the galaxy.
If the video ever finds its way back online, I wouldn't recommend watching it for more than a few minutes, if at all. Only those in the midst of a speed overdose can access long-dormant segments of their attention spans so as to not be overstimulated by that much simultaneous space opera.
Star Wars: Uncut -- A Shot-for-Shot Remake Made by Thousands of Fans
If you're interested in the multiverse and often wonder what Star Wars would look like in the vast multitudes of possibilities that exist within parallel worlds, you should give Star Wars: Uncut a watch:
In 2009, a guy named Casey Pugh started a crowdsourcing project: By editing together 15-second segments that were shot by fans from all over the world in whatever style they chose to portray their assigned segment of the movie, Pugh hoped to create an entirely fan-made version of A New Hope. And he did it. Well, everyone did it.
Star Wars: Uncut can go from a stop-motion sequence starring action figures ...
... to a live-action rendition performed by people on their lunch break ...
... to a scene recreated using characters from Team Fortress:
Rather than suing the ever-loving shit out of everyone involved and making sure everyone they love ends up dead at the bottom of a river, Lucas Film gave their full support to the project. In all, 473 15-second segments were stringed together to form the movie. There were multiple submissions for each segment, and they were voted into the film by fellow fans. To keep track of it all, Pugh created a program that automatically added the highest rated clip from each segment into the movie in real time as the standings shifted.
It's been a couple of years since Star Wars: Uncut was completed and released. Pugh's next project is to do it all over again with The Empire Strikes Back.
A New Hope With the Dialogue in Alphabetical Order
Most things on the Internet exist because. That's it. Just because. So if you want to know why a guy named Tom 7 spent 42 hours alphabetizing every single word spoken in Star Wars, now you do. In his own words: "The video is meant to be provocative in its uselessness." You can watch that uselessness here:
Before you get all high and mighty and activate your Internet snark generators to leave comments like "does this LOSER even have a job lol," you should know that Tom does have a job, and it's better than yours. Tom has a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon, and he works for Google. His field is "machine learning," which presumably means he's working on artificial intelligence. Before he alphabetized every word in Star Wars, he created a computer program that learned how to play old Nintendo games.
Tom watched Star Wars, noting each time a word was spoken. That took around 30 hours. Then he created his own program to help track down every instance of a word in the movie's audio track. The program took around 12 hours to create. With every individual word accounted for, his program then aligned all the words spoken in the movie and turned them into the video above.
If you don't see how knowing that the word "stations" appears five times while "station" appears 11 times can make the viewing experience better, then you're absolutely right. It cannot. The video is 43 minutes of information you'll never know what to do with.
"Much. Much. Much. Much. Murdered."
In case you were wondering (you weren't), in A New Hope, the word "star" is used 11 times and "wars" only three. I have no idea what you should do with that fact or where you should put it. Certainly not in your head. It'll take up valuable space in your head, so ... I don't know. Bedazzle it onto cut-off jeans shorts, maybe? Write it on a Post-it and burn it so that fact may ascend to the heavens and become one with our world? This paragraph is my way of unloading that observation onto you, the reader, so I can get rid of it forever. You figure out what to do with it now, and with this video.
Topher Grace's (Supposedly) Fantastic Star Wars Prequel Re-Edit
You might know Topher Grace only as Eric Foreman on That '70s Show, but in Hollywood lore he's known as the guy who re-edited the Star Wars prequel trilogy into a single, reportedly great 85-minute film called Star Wars: Episode III.5: The Editor Strikes Back. I say reportedly because there isn't even the slightest chance in hell any of us will ever see it. We have to rely on the opinion of the few who have.
Grace wanted to learn more about the editing process, so he gave himself a project: try to make one good Star Wars prequel movie out of three not-so-good ones. He screened the movie for a select few, and only a few of that select few reported on what they saw.
In all, the prequels are a seven-hour bore. To make it 85 minutes, Topher Grace had to cut out tons of characters and plotlines. The movie starts with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn fighting Darth Maul, reducing the entire plot of Episode I down to Qui-Gon telling Obi-Wan to train Anakin. Almost all of Episode I is gone, including the 17-hour-long pod race scene.
Jar Jar Binks is on screen once for a few seconds. Midi-chlorians are gone. Nearly the entire subplot about Jango Fett's clones is gone. Little Boba Fett is gone. All the talk about trade blockades and space taxes -- gone. All scenes about space congress -- gone. Anakin as a little kid -- mercifully gone. General Grievous? It's like he never even existed in the first place. The film ends in roughly the same way as
At least we got this out of it.
"Misa gonna get turned into an extra?!"
The movie is -- again, reportedly -- only about how a promising young Jedi Knight builds and wrecks two vitally important relationships (Obi Wan and Padme) as he blazes a path to becoming the most menacing villain the galaxy has ever known. The consensus from the few who have seen it is that in only 85 minutes, Topher Grace did a better job of telling the story of the prequel trilogy than three two-and-a-half-hour movies.