It seems that some dedicated 'Star Wars' fans plan to bring 'Shadows of the Empire' to the big screen… and you might be able to help.
It's been over 15 years since we first heard of 'Shadows of the Empire' as we followed Dash Rendar on his perilous adventures through the 'Star Wars' universe. But it seems that some fans just can't get enough… and while a film of this incredible story was never made, it looks like there are plans to finally put that right.
This is where Ethan Belden comes in - a 'Star Wars' fan from Fresno, California who has big plans for the 'Shadows of the Empire'. Taking to Kickstarter to fund a fan-made movie, he intends to finally bring the classic 1996 multimedia 'Star Wars' project to our screens.
"Growing up with Shadows of the Empire," he explains, "I have always had a close connection to it in the way that I felt that it belonged with the original trilogy. There are a lot of story elements in it that are honestly very important in its relation to the original trilogy."
Of course, he's absolutely right. It may have been a multimedia spin-off but it certainly explained plenty of the intricacies that were never detailed in the original trilogy. Set between 'The Empire Strikes Back' and 'Return of the Jedi' it delved into the backstory of some of our favourite characters. Just how did Luke build his lightsaber? And were things really that simple for Boba Fett when he finally captured Han? Bridging the gap between the two films, 'Shadows of the Empire' paved the way for the theatrical release of the 'Star Wars' special edition movies… but sadly never made it to film itself.
"I think Star Wars fans have really been waiting for something like this," he explains. And I'm sure there are plenty of us who would love to see Prince Xizor finally make an on-screen appearance. But it's going to take a lot of work…
"It is very important to us that this project is as high quality as possible," says Ethan. And he goes on to detail just what the project is aiming for.
"We want to make this film using classic techniques," he explains. "Very similar to that of the original Star Wars movies… by using model kits, paintings and special FX make-up. We also want to use a method called Pepakura, in which we can we print 3D models out into paper and with the help of fiberglass and Bondo, we can create our own armour and props while it being very cost-effective."
Ethan has even provided some wonderful concept images - including matte paintings and a proof of concept that uses a model kit of Dash Rendar's famous Outrider to create a rather awesome space-flight scene.
Of course, these are only concepts… for now. But it certainly goes a long way to prove that the project has what it takes to bring 'Shadows of the Empire' to film. And I have to admit… I really love that Outrider.
"We mean the utmost respect for George Lucas and Lucasfilm in our ambitions to make this fan film. It is completely non-profit and we are simply trying to make this as an artistic contribution to the Star Wars Universe."
Would you like to see 'Shadows of the Empire' make it to film? Is Kickstarter the perfect way to do it?