While many studios have a tough time knowing how to deal with fan representations of the properties they own, it has never been a problem for Lucasfilm. Lucasfilm wholly embraces their fan bases creations, and they always have. Even now with a major company like Disney in control, Star Wars fans and their creations within the universe are welcomed by the studio. At this year's Star Wars Celebration, they even held a contest for Star Wars fan made movies, with a panel of judges that included Rogue One: A Star Wars Story director Gareth Edwards. Now, the winner of the Filmmaker Select Award from Star Wars Celebration has made its way online.
A version of the winning movie, TK-436: A Stormtrooper Story was available online previously, but now a full director's cut has made its way to YouTube. TK-436: A Stormtrooper Story is not your typical Star Wars story. This is an incredibly gritty, dirty, personal war story told within the confines of the Star Wars universe. Here is the official synopsis of the movie.
"UnBoxed Films presents, TK-436: A Stormtrooper Story, the gritty tale of a loyal Imperial Stormtrooper who is forced to confront his past in the heat of an epic battle. It is directors Samtubia & Samgoma Edwards. It is imagined from a perspective that is seldom explored within the Star Wars universe."
This is the type of story that has yet to really be explored on-screen in the Star Wars universe, and it is a perfect example of just how many kinds of stories there are to tell. The movie takes place during the the time period of the original trilogy. TK-436, according to this, was even present when Luke's aunt and uncle were killed. Also, not that this movie is official or anything, but it would debunk the whole "Boba Fett killed Owen and Beru" theory. The point is, the movies up to this point have showed things from a very singular, grand perspective. This takes it to a very small place and shows just how deep the effects of war are.
Also, what is truly amazing is just how close to marketable this movie is, and we can only assume it had a budget of virtually nothing. If a few of the effects were tightened up just a bit, and a few things here and there were cleaned up, TK-436: A Stormtrooper Story could be good to go. Maybe as a short that plays ahead of the upcoming feature length Star Wars 8 sequel? Maybe as part of a Twilight Zone style Star Wars anthology TV series? In any case, there is definitely a home for this kind of sci-fi storytelling within the Star Wars universe, and it is really nice to see Disney and Lucasfilm embrace it.
We have been told that the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is going to be a more gritty war movie. There is almost no chance it is this down and dirty. We got to see John Boyega struggle to find his place as a Stormtrooper in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, going from FN-2187 to Finn before our eyes. But there is now way Tk-436's story won't pull at your heartstrings even more than that. This is a truly great Star Wars story, and any fan of the franchise should definitely watch it. You can check out Tk-436: A Stormtrooper Story for yourself below.