Friday, 27 March 2015
Even though it was just released a couple of days ago, you’ve probably already seen this because it has literally millions of views already. But here’s the scoop: a guy named Paul Johnson (also known as MightyOtaKing and OtaKing77077) spent the last four years basically single-handedly animating a seven-minute space battle set in the Star Wars universe, from the point of view of the TIE Fighters of the Empire. Bonus: it’s done in the style of old-school animé like Robotech and Starblazers!
Aside from the obvious awesomeness, there are some really cool technical things going on in this short. Johnson’s visualization of the interior of the TIE Fighter cockpits is actually a combination of the small amount we get to see in the movies with the 1994 LucasArts TIE Fighter video game display!
Johnson put a lot of care and thought into the film, including working up absurdly detailed character profiles and backstories for the four leads that get the most screen time in the film. You can peruse a PDF of them all (and extensive notes on the creation of the cockpits) at your leisure.
You can also find the score for the film (by Zak Rahman) here:
I also appreciate how Johnson didn’t do any crowdfunding or anything like that in order to get this done. This was a labor of love and time, not a money-making scheme (though I’ve little doubt the offers will likely start rolling in after this). As he says:
Don’t support me on Patreon, because I don’t have one! And don’t donate to my Kickstarter, because I don’t have one of those either. Instead, if you enjoyed this, give someone at your workplace, uni, school or whatever a random bar of chocolate or can or Coke or something. Seriously, it’ll probably make their day.
That would totally make my day.
This film is proof that you don’t always need to seek funding to do something you love. Sometimes all you need is to put in the effort and time. Well, done, Paul. Well done.