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Emotional Short Film Jakku: First Wave Reminds You That Stormtroopers Are People, Too

Historically speaking, Imperial Stormtroopers have been the butts of plenty of jokes. While the odd text post, social media post, or fanfic has gone to great lengths to remind us there are people in that armor, very few things have come close to the emotional impact packed within this fan-made short film. Jakku: First Wave, created by filmmaker Benjamin Eck, is an emotional short film that centers on three troopers about to be deployed into combat at the Battle of Jakku. The entirety of the film takes place in the belly of an AT-AT, with only the sounds of combat peppering the background as these three people share why they decided to wear the white armor.

Right up front, the film sets up the fact that apparently no stormtroopers survived the Battle of Jakku. The fates of each of these soldiers is a foregone conclusion before we even meet them, lending the three minute short a bit of an emotional edge before it even begins in earnest. It works well.

There were more than a few moments during the short where I forgot I was watching a Star Wars-themed short. The conversation captured here could be happening in any military anywhere else, and likely has. It’s in that possibility that we find emotional connection. The setting might be purely fictional, but it’s perhaps more human than we’d like to admit.

(via /Film, featured image via screengrab)

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Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (, and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters ( She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.