While browsing the net there’s a good chance that you’ll eventually stumble across something related to Star Wars. Perhaps you’ll find a fan created video, a random spoof image or maybe some really peculiar cosplay. We’ve sifted through countless blogs and clips tagged with the words ‘Star’ and ‘Wars’ as well as ‘Leia’, ‘Slave’ and ‘Bikini’ and come up with the best of the bunch. What follows are six of the coolest Star Wars related items that we found. By the way, our hunt for Slave Leia had nothing to do with researching this topic, but you already knew that.
Star Wars Retold (by someone who hasn’t seen it)
Let’s kick off our journey into a galaxy far, far away with something hilarious. Star Wars Retold is an awesome vid that first appeared online a few years back. It’s gotten so many views that it’s now considered a modern internet classic. Its right up there with keyboard kitty and lizard attacks newscaster. Star Wars Retold even won the George Lucas Selects Award in 2009. The humorous piece was directed by Joseph Nicolosi who teamed with his friend Amanda who had never seen an entire Star Wars film. Amanda’s unique and shoddy retelling of the classic trilogy sent tremors through the force. It was as if a million geeks laughed out loud and then suddenly hit the “like” button. Thus, a legend was born.
This Star Wars/COPS parody by Kevin Rubio called Troops, made its debut way back in 1997. This may come as a shock to some, but the internet actually existed that far back. Some claim the net was around even before then but we have our doubts. Ninety-seven was an important year. Hanson’s nightmarish "MmmBop” topped the charts and Bill Clinton allegedly had 9 sexual encounters for the good of our nation.
Troops is an innovative production that is rightly credited with kick starting the fan-film movement. It was the first short film to make use of the latest fad at the time, the fairly intimidating “worldwide web”. Even after all these years the vid still holds up.
Backstroke of the West
In 2005 a man named Jeremy from wintersome.com was walking past a DVD salesman (aka the local bootlegger) and decided to check out Revenge of the Sith. What he discovered was a Holy Grail for meme enthusiasts and internet junkies who thrive on the absurd. Apparently Asian bootleggers obtained a copy of the film prior to release and figured they were up to the task of subtitling it themselves. They couldn’t have been more wrong. The now infamous bootleg, dubbed The Backstroke of the West, contains numerous instances of English subtitles ridiculously mangled beyond belief.Here are a few classic examples including the epic origin of “do not want”…
Holiday Special (RiffTrax Style)
We still refuse to wish a “Happy Life Day” to any of the lunatics who created this atrocity. The widely scorned Star Wars Holiday Special has been mentioned so often in articles of this sort that we almost feel guilty trotting it out again for further mockery. In this instance we’ll leave the ridicule to the MST3K comic geniuses who made a RiffTrax treatment and roasted the so called “Special” to perfection. If you’re capable of sitting through this stain on Star Wars history without gauging out you eyes then we applaud you. The only way we suggest watching this abortion is by viewing the RiffTrax version.
Mr. Plinkett’s Prequel Reviews
Mr. Plinkett is a psychotic elderly character created by Milwaukee-based indie filmmaker Mike Stoklasa. The persona of crazy old Mr. Plinkett and his love/hate/homicidal relationship with movies has grown into an internet phenomenon. Back in 2009, Stoklasa gained serious net fame thanks to his meticulously crafted seventy minute review of The Phantom Menace. Since then Stoklasa has followed up his opus with further reviews of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. The Plinkett reviews were carefully crafted with an attention to detail that borders on obsessive. Overall the reviews have been widely praised. However, not all Star Wars fans care for the insanely detailed criticisms of the prequel trilogy.
Mr. Plinkett’s notorious reviews of the Star Wars prequels are exceedingly critical but they aren’t meant to be taken that seriously. For crying out loud the vids also feature women chained up in Mr. Plinkett’s basement, inexplicable references to pizza rolls and psychotic medication trips. There’s no reason to tear the heads off your Boba Fett action figure just because someone creatively stated what most of the internet had already collectively said for years. Stoklasa’s solid work earned our respect and clearly deserves a mention here.
Adywan’s Revisited Project
Over on originaltrilogy.com, creating Star Wars fan-edits is commonplace. For those who are unacquainted with this endeavor, a fan-edit of a movie can mean anything from adding or cutting bits and pieces to shifting around entire scenes to alter narrative structure. Arguably one of the most popular fan-editors in existence is Adywan. In the case of his mega popular Star Wars: A New Hope Revisited, he’s taken the best of George Lucas’ “special” editions and deleted the worst offences. And when we say “worst offences” we’re talking of course about Greedo shooting first, color timing problems, dated FX shots, the spotty 2004 audio mix and a majority of the distracting CGI “improvements”.
More than just simple additions and subtractions, Ady broke new ground when he opted to remaster the sound, include his own special effects and make tons of subtle audio and visual enhancements. He also painstakingly corrected many issues which ILM and George Lucas have either missed or ignored for years. Even the 2011 Star Wars Blu-ray (which contains further modifications) has failed to fix basic problems such as jump-cuts, remaining matte boxes and Luke’s miscolored light saber. Adywan has long since fixed these things and even given Chewbacca a medal at the end just for good measure.
Much of this work was achieved at Adywan’s own personal expense and thanks to donations from fellow fans. Years of effort and hardship went into this particular edit. In the end Adywan crafted a nearly flawless presentation and a far more consistent version of the film which started it all. The changes and tweaks Ady made were done with care and respect. In fact, most of his alterations were wish-list dreams come true for countless Special Edition fans. Shockingly, Adywan wasn’t even a pro, everything he accomplished with Revisited was learned through trial and error (and Adobe After Effects) as he went along. The Revisited project is simply a non-profit labor of love he enthusiastically shared with fellow Star Wars geeks. As of this writing Empire Strikes Back: Revisited is in production with Return of the Jedi and the Prequels also in line for future Revisited treatments.