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This Star Wars: Exile Fan Film Infuses Drama and Gore Into the Star Wars Universe

The Star Wars: Exile Fan Film Ups the Drama & Gore

Calling Star Wars: Exile a “fan film” doesn’t seem quite right, since technically it’s the first episode in a fan series. The first episode could work as a stand-alone piece, although it does end on a cliffhanger of sorts. Before you watch, just know that this show would definitely get a more mature rating (for violence) than any of the Star Wars movies.

Usually, when I watch fan films, the acting isn’t very good and it breaks my immersion. Not so for this one! The episode kicks off with a dialogue-free fight sequence that lasts all the way through to the opening credits crawl. Seriously, there’s no dialogue at all, other than a villainous whisper at the very end right before the title screen. This works well to place the emphasis entirely on the special effects, as well as on the actors’ facial expressions.

That said, the extreme gore in this episode definitely sets it apart from the rest of the Star Wars universe for me. In terms of atmosphere and tone, this is much more dramatic and dark. There’s also not a one-liner or quip to be found in this entire episode, and no sense of fun; this is a deadly serious piece of Star Wars fandom. That’s completely fine—it’s the choice they made, and it works.

The only weird part about that aesthetic choice is that then the title screen and opening crawl feel like they don’t “belong” within the tone of the episode. The title credits also don’t feel entirely necessary here, either, especially since the episode does well at illustrating who these characters are and at which time period in Star Wars their story takes place. I hope that for the later episodes, the creators won’t feel as much of a need to rely on the title crawl, because I’m not sure they actually need it.

After the title crawl, we meet the two main characters: Padawan Makal Lori and his Jedi Master, Boemana Tora. Makal Lori is played by the episode’s writer and co-director, Noel Braham. His Jedi Master is played by Georginna Savoye. The series’ other co-director, Pokey Spears, plays the mysterious Inquisitor. These three all seem to be original characters invented for this series, although several other pre-existing Star Wars characters do make a cameo here (including heavy-hitters like Boba Fett and Darth Vader).

The quality of the special effects, as well as the refreshing diversity of the cast and the creative team, definitely help this fan-made project stand out from the pack. The fact that it’s also well-acted and has some cool fight choreography doesn’t hurt either. It’s a little sad that the series only has two female characters so far and that one of them dies very quickly (and very gruesomely) … but the other one is a Jedi Master who’s about to face a serious moral dilemma (the cliffhanger seems to suggest she’s considering the Dark Side). On the other hand, our heroes and heroines are all Jedi, and given the time period, it’s pretty much a done deal that they’re all gonna die (sigh).

Overall, this looks like the beginning of what could be a very compelling and haunting story. I’m excited to see where Makal and Boemana end up in episode 2!

(via Facebook tip)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (relay.fm/isometric), and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (robotknights.com).