This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
Vader - A Star Wars Theory Fan Film
Vader - A Star Wars Theory Fan Film
Darth Vader fights between losing Padmé and serving the new master who promised to save her... plus the return of Mace Windu.
Darth Vader fights between losing Padmé and serving the new master who promised to save her... plus the return of Mace Windu. Read more
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
Vader - A Star Wars Theory Fan Film
Ever since I started the YouTube channel Star Wars Theory https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8CbFnDTYkiVweaz8y9wd_Q, we have had the most amazing time together and it’s all because of you. Now 1.1 million subscribers later, I want to do more together: a live-action fan film about our favorite Sith Lord, Darth Vader. It’ll go beyond what we’ve seen before, something that will get our pulse pounding and hearts bleeding as we experience what goes on beneath his mask. There’s such an incredible journey from the Darth Vader we sympathize with in Episode III to the Darth Vader we fear in Episodes IV, V, and VI. I want to explore that journey in this fan film. And best of all, it will be available for free on YouTube for everyone to see!
The story of the fan film takes places eight months after “Revenge of the Sith” (nearly 18 years before his “Rogue One” massacre) when Darth Vader still wrestled with the remorse he felt for the death of his wife, Padmé. Lord Vader resents the Emperor for not only failing to teach him how to save her, but for lying about even having that power. Vader wants to kill Palpatine but knows he’d never survive against his master. So when Vader learns that Mace Windu has survived the attempt on Palpatine’s life, Vader goes to Mace with one goal -- betray his master and convince Mace to join him to kill the Emperor. But Vader’s pull to the light and his love for Padmé will affect him in ways we’ve never thought possible. This fan film will blow your minds! It's unpredictable and action-packed. You have never seen anything like it.
The fan film will be intense, dark, with crazy action that you’ve been wanting to see. You will scream as Vader is pushed beyond what we’ve ever imagined. No Force power is off-limits, canon or Legends. And no rules dictate this fight between Sith and Jedi.
I’ve had one goal with the over 600 videos I’ve made about Star Wars: to pay homage to the franchise we all love. Star Wars has been an escape, an adventure, and even a strength to relationships, as it was with my father and I. This fan film is another way to express my undying gratitude and love to Star Wars.
Some may ask why the film will cost so much. It’s to give you want you deserve! We’re building sets, costumes, props, and packing it full of amazing CGI and on-set special effects to make it as incredible as possible. Please see the detailed budget breakdown below. Of course our production value won’t come anywhere near what Lucasfilm can do since we can’t spend $2 million dollars a minute, but I'm trying to make up for that with the one thing that’s free: a great story.
And before you even ask: yes, there’s a sand part and some one even gets the high ground :)
Plus, I even have a sweet cameo in the film, which will be my long-awaited and long-requested face reveal.
But the fan film and Star Wars Theory channel have never been about me, they’re about you. So we want you to be involved in the making of this film. Many of you have already reached out offering help. Keep doing that! If you have an awesome costume, a voice talent, a fascinating location, we may need you.
Most importantly, please back the project. Give anything you can. Share it with everyone you know. If each each subscriber to the channel gives a dollar, we'll be done! I’ll be dropping new concept art throughout the campaign for you to see and share. Together we can have fun making what we all love. Remember, if we don't reach our funding goal, then no fan film!
I hope Lucasfilm keeps making Star Wars movies forever and today, May 25th (the day of this Kickstarter's launch), we get “Solo - A Star Wars Story”, but then after that we have to wait over a year and a half until Episode IX! I don’t know about you, but waiting that long for a Star Wars film is like getting dragged through rough and coarse sand. This fan film is a way we can all come together and make something we can enjoy during that long wait. It will be shown completely for free on YouTube for all to enjoy, praising the galaxy far, far away, but not without your help.
Please back and share this campaign, my Jedi and Sith friends. And remember, the Force will be with you. Always.
- Star Wars Theory
Even though this film will be available for free on YouTube and we could shoot it in a backyard, I want to give you something that you’ll be proud of, which is why I chose Kickstarter and their all-or-nothing funding model. I want this fan film to be awesome or not be done at all. So how will the budget be spent? Below are initial estimates from my producing team. Bonus points if you know who said which quotes!
Production Design - Everything you see on screen. Sets, wardrobe, makeup, props, etc. - CAN$255,000 (~$200,000 USD)
“This is where the fun begins”. New types of lightsabers, prosthetic makeup effects, and Darth Vader’s totally beat-up suit. The biggest expense comes with the incredible sets. When we wrote this story, we asked a big question: where in the galaxy would be the hardest place emotionally for Darth Vader to fight? We thought about Tatooine and his mother’s grave. We thought that’s easy to film, it’s in the desert! Wait, Luke lives there. Nope. Vader can’t go there. Mustafar, where he got chopped up? As cool as that’d be, Ep III owned that fight and we definitely couldn’t afford that. A sand planet? Funny, but not emotionally charged enough for Vader. Ultimately the answer was obvious -- Padmé’s grave! We’re designing an entire mausoleum and tomb where Vader and Mace can fight and not hold anything back. It costs a lot to create a big set, especially to destroy it take after take!
Camera and Lighting - CAN$96,000 (~$75,000 USD)
“Oh, it’s beautiful”. This is includes the camera and lighting packages as well as the geniuses who run them. Everything from lightning bolts to soft shadows, this film will look great!
Cast and Crew - CAN$180,000 (~$140,000 USD)
“An entire legion of my best troops”. This is for the Force-sensitives we’re hiring to bring this to life for you guys: actors, producers, director, additional writers, fight coordinators, stunt workers, and many others, some of which will work on this for many months and incur travel and lodging costs. Even though this seems like a lot to pay people, many of them are lowering their rates significantly for their love of the franchise.
Special Effects - CAN$63,000 (~$50,000 USD)
“I know there are things about the Force they’re not telling me”. Not to be confused with visual effects, special effects are all those effects actually done on set and not in the computer. Everything from wind, water, and fire to using wires and breakaways for stunts are special effects. Sand falls under this category too! ;)
Post-Production - CAN$95,000 (~$75,000 USD)
“You have only begun to discover your power”. Once everything is shot, the movie is molded. Picture and sound editing, music, and color correction. Everything that takes place after the last roll of the camera (minus visual effects).
Visual Effects - CAN$192,000 (~$150,000 USD)
“Many abilities which some consider to be unnatural”. What would Star Wars be without lightsabers? We don’t only have a giant lightsaber fight though, but every other possible effect you can image. Big Force pushes, robotic limbs, explosions, blaster bolts, and other Force powers which will shock you. You name it, it’s probably there (except a big space battle, the real Star Wars has that covered!)
Campaign Perks - CAN$45,000 (~$35,000 USD)
“Perhaps I can find new ways to motivate them”. Production diaries, behind-the-scenes pics, casting info, making-of videos, cast and crew interviews, lightsabers, T-shirts, etc. Since this is your fan film, I want you guys to have fun during the making of the film, not just once it releases.
Other Costs - CAN$133,000 (~$105,000 USD)
“Only through [these] can [we] achieve a power greater than any Jedi”. These are the unspectacular yet important costs that any film, fan film or not, have to ensure that crews are safe and equipment is taken care of. After all, it’s all fun and games until someone gets stabbed with a lightsaber! These costs are insurance, taxes, foreign conversion fees, medics, food, contingency costs, and others.
Kickstarter Fees - CAN$96,000 (~$75,000 USD)
“Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed”. All this fundraising fun cost something! Kickstarter takes anywhere from 8-10% of each donation (5% Kickstarter fee plus a 3-5% credit card fee).
Anything over the crowdfunding goal will go towards the film to make it even more awesome and punch up the action. I can’t emphasize this enough. It will be THAT MUCH COOLER. Every dollar over counts! More Vader dominating, more Mace beat downs, and even more characters that will blow your minds!
1) Is the script already written?
Yes! I’ve been working on it for quite some time and have been waiting for the script to really sing prior to launching the Kickstarter. I wouldn't have done it if I wouldn't pay to see this myself.
2) Is this project an official Lucasfilm project?
No. While I’d love it to be, this fan film is a film for fans, made by fans. No connection with Lucasfilm is implied or intended.
3) Is Lucasfilm/Disney going to shut down this project due to copyright issues?
Hopefully not! Lucasfilm has a long history of encouraging fan films as long as they are not made for profit and celebrate the franchise we all love. This fan film is completely not-for-profit and will be available for free on YouTube (regular YouTube, not YouTube Red) and will never be available for purchase. I only want to have fun making a film for everyone to enjoy as we wait for Ep IX.
4) When does this story take place in the Star Wars universe?
About 8 months after “Revenge of the Sith”.
5) When will the fan film be released?
We are striving for a December release of this year, 2018!
6) Will the fan film contradict canon?
With the exemption of Mace Windu being alive, I wanted this fan film to fit into Star Wars as something that could conceivably happen in the new canon. It will not contradict canon but will expand upon it.
7) What would the fan film’s rating be?
PG-13. I want to make something super intense and action-packed that delves into Vader’s agony, something we haven’t seen it before. It’s tone and intensity are most similar to “Revenge of the Sith” and "Rogue One". Like all Star Wars, there won’t be any sexual content or swearing -- and nothing to defame the franchise.
8) Where are we filming?
Currently, we are looking at locations in both Southern California and Utah in the United States.
9) When are we filming?
Since a fan film of this size needs a couple months for casting, set construction, fight choreography, and other preparations, we anticipate to film in August-September.
10) Is the fan film live-action or animation?
11) How long will the film be?
It's projected to be 20-30 minutes (not including credits).
12) If there is any remaining budget when the film is finished, what will happen with the money?
We're trying to raise the minimum amount to make an awesome fan film happen, so we don't anticipate anything to be left over, especially since we don't want to leave anything out! Visual effects will go down to the wire, so any remaining funds will most likely be used there, especially since we're really pushing to be able to release it to your guys in December.
13) Who is the director?
The director is a guy from LA named Danny Ramirez. He's an up-and-coming director who has completely BLOWN ME AWAY with his ideas. I cannot stress that enough. I hired him because I would have paid to see his ideas on screen. Not only does he do action really well, but his character and story ideas are sooo good. He's been mentored for the past couple years by a second unit director named Simon Crane who directed much of the "Rogue One" reshoots. He got his directing masters at USC where George Lucas went. He's also a huge Star wars fan :) Here's some samples of his stuff plus his YouTube channel, Spiffy Nerd Herder. He does it all. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC53JmebdFRrlXeK65GSwzQg
Concept Art Cred: @benjuddart on Instagram
Risks and challenges
Film making is truly a thrilling process and I'm loving preparing this film for you guys! It's also predictably unpredictable, which is why I've enlisted the help of experts in the process. These Force-sensitives know the intricacies of the film making and are preparing for every contingency. Most films operate with about a 10% contingency in the budget for unexpected cost overruns. Since we are a fan film and more susceptible to people's schedules, we are operating with 15-20% to ensure we do not go over budget and that we are able to deliver the film as promised!
If you have any questions, please feel free to pose them here and I'll do my best to answer them!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter