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Hoshino, a Star Wars Fan Film Masterfully Tells the Story of a Blind Jedi’s Lightsaber

Way back when The Force Awakens first came out, I wrote about how much of a moment it was when I saw Jess Pava, an Asian X-wing pilot up on screen for the very first time. I began to wonder if it was possible to ask for more, and thanks to Stephen Vitale, Eric Carrasco, and Anna Akana’s fan film, Hoshino, I know that we can, and that we absolutely should.

The film centers on a Jedi Master by the name of Ko Hoshino. In the process of building her lightsaber, she revisits memories of her training with her own Jedi Master. She was, as most apprentices seem to be, reckless and a bit impatient. In the process of her training, she steals her master’s lightsaber, and because of an accident involving some Mynock-looking bats, she’s blinded. Eventually, she completes her lightsaber, and is met with a group of Sith who have hunted her down. I won’t spoil too much of the ending or anything, but suffice it to say her own master has taught her well.

Generally speaking, the film looks great and is very well made. There are lots of little details here and there that speak to how thoroughly they stuck to a vision (pun kinda not intended). Make no mistake: this was a production, complete with its own score and a full complement of solid visual special effects. Take a look for yourself in the Behind the Scenes featurette.

The story itself is concise, and pulls from a lot of themes present in the Star Wars movies, especially The Force Awakens. Take, for example, the scene in which Hoshino uses the Force to steal her sleeping master’s lightsaber. Between the fiery embers floating in the air and the well-placed use of “Binary Sunset,” it feels like a nearly direct reference to when Rey used the Force to take Luke’s lightsaber from Kylo Ren. It’s a strong scene here, and certainly stands on its own.

More than all of this, though, seeing Akana bring an Asian woman Jedi to life (even on a computer screen) made me so incredibly happy. I was instantly drawn back to when I was a little kid, running around with a lightsaber pretending to fight bad dudes and everything. I remember digging and digging for information about any Jedi in any of the canon texts to see if I could find someone remotely like myself. While I’m fully aware that this fan film obviously isn’t in any Star Wars canon, I’m more than happy to sit here imagining what could be–only this time, I get to actually see something instead of just imagining it.

The representation problems within Star Wars are only just now beginning to be addressed, especially with regards to their stark lack of Asian faces. With the addition of Donnie Yen and Wen Jiang to the Rogue One cast plus Kelly Marie Tran joining Episode VIII, things are looking up.

Until these movies are released, though, it’s nice to know we can count on such well made fan films to fill the gaping void that’s been chewing away at many Star Wars fans’ hearts for quite some time.

I guess this is to say: thank you for this.

(via Laughing Squid)

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