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Eight Star Wars Fan Films That You Need To See

Have a Star Wars-sized void in your life that isn't filled by the Disney Plus shows? Take a shot at these eight fan films inspired by the franchise.
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There has been an influx of Star Wars media hitting screen recently, most notably the Disney Plus shows. But what about all the fan films on YouTube? We never talk about those, but we need to more often. There are so many great low-budget shorts that live up to the expectation of Star Wars fans.

I won’t be talking about fan series since those deserve their own spotlight. But I will be talking about the eight best short films that follow some of our favorite characters or introduce new ones that are just as compelling.

‘Dark Jedi’

Unnamed Jedi in Dark Jedi fan film
@Stephen Vitale on YouTube | Stephen Vitale | Eric Carrasco | John Schick | Miguel Jiron

This five-minute film is a masterpiece. From the acting to the special effects, everything was so well done. You can tell just how much effort went into everything. The special effects are just as high quality as the films, maybe better than some Star Wars films. The costuming looks straight out of the movies.

The ending was also a twist I didn’t see coming. I couldn’t imagine a better way to change the Jedi’s path than what they did. My only gripe was the slow-motion throughout the fight scene felt too much at times. Regardless, it adds to the drama and emotion of the fight. I hope this channel makes more shorts like this soon.

‘Hoshino’

Here’s a short film I wasn’t expecting to like, but I was proven wrong. The short film follows a blind Jedi as she works to become one with the Force and craft her lightsaber. Speaking of lightsabers, the crafting scene was absolutely beautiful. The special effects were better than I had expected. Hoshino shows what it truly means to be a Jedi and walk on the light side.

I initially only clicked on it because Anna Akana stars, and I will watch anything she’s in. The rest of the crew was great as well. The writer, Eric Carrasco, wrote for Supergirl on The CW, so it makes sense I’d like the storyline. The costuming and makeup artist made something that looks like it was pulled from the movies.

‘Star Wars: Origins’

Ellie in Star Wars Origins fan film
@Star Wars Origins Film on YouTube | Velvet Film | PhilmCo | Phil Hawkins | Gary Cowan

Described as Star Wars meets Indiana Jones, Star Wars: Origins is set during World War II and rewrites our world history as we know it. Ellie and Walter, two archaeologists, discover artifacts from the Star Wars universe – lightsabers, stormtrooper helmets, and Jedi texts. This catapults them into danger, running from those that have been searching for these artifacts for years.

Mark Hamill himself has applauded this fan film, calling it a fantastic piece. The film’s creator has made films for Sony and Netflix, and all of the cast members have extensive resumes. The film has won many film festival awards since it premiered in 2019. If you want more after the credits roll, the Star Wars Origins Film channel also has tons of behind-the-scenes content.

‘Crossfire’

Crossfire is only one of the Star Wars-inspired animated short films on this YouTube channel. Loacher Films has plenty more fan films that are high-quality animation, but this is my favorite out of all of them. If you didn’t know it was animated before watching, you probably wouldn’t realize it until someone told you.

I couldn’t find anything I didn’t like about Crossfire. Like many of Loacher’s fans, I want more stories following the Havoc Squad and the Old Republic. They captured the essence of the universe, the time of the Old Republic, and the characters so many love. Seriously, Disney, hire the people behind this short film already and get them their own shows.

‘Star Wars: Hand of the Empire’

Kanan in Star Wars Hand of the Empire fan film
@STARWARS FANFILM on YouTube | Ken Daniels | Nathan Thomas Milliner

This film, which is 50 minutes, was produced to help out a nonprofit, The Children’s Hospital Foundation. It is incredibly well-made, with impressive special effects, costuming that looks straight from the films, and spot-on casting. It also humanizes the Stormtroopers, a choice I want to see in more Star Wars media.

Hand of the Empire is set six years before the Battle of Yavin. We see Captain Quarrie and his Stormtrooper unit on a search and capture mission from Emperor Palpatine. Accompanying their unit is a Mandalorian named Loto Tane. On the other side of the mission is an unnamed girl who was rescued by Kanan Jarrus.

‘The Last Padawan’

The Last Padawan follows a Jedi Padawan on a search for Kyber crystals to craft their lightsaber. It’s set about four years after the fall of the Republic and Jedi Order. It was a little slow at first, but what Star Wars movie isn’t? I loved that they included the iconic intro.

I know I said I wouldn’t talk about series, but I’m making a slight exception for this short film. It has a sequel, titled The Last Padawan 2, that is more than twice as long. It continues the story of the same Padawan. I have yet to watch it, but I expect it to be just as good since they upped the budget.

‘Darth Maul: Apprentice’

Darth Maul in Darth Maul Apprentice fan film
@T7pro on YouTube | Shawn Bu

This short film shows how Darth Maul became the Sith we know and love (or love to hate). Darth Maul: Apprentice follows Darth Maul as he trains as a Sith apprentice under Darth Sidious. We see how brutal the training can be to become a Sith.

I loved the makeup and costuming they used, specifically for Darth Maul. It’s spectacular and looks like what was done for the prequel movies. It’s also less than 20 minutes long, but I wouldn’t have been mad if they’d made it longer and added more aspects of the training.

‘Dark Legacy’

This is by far my favorite fan film at the moment, and that’s saying a lot. Dark Legacy actually sent me down the Star Wars fan film rabbit hole earlier this year. The special effects were amazing, the lighting fit the story and universe, and Kia, the protagonist, is one I want to see more of. Even the concept art on their website is fantastic and shows how much effort was put into it.

Taking place on a barren, forgotten planet in the corner of the Star Wars universe, Kia trains under a Sith Master after being abducted. Her only hope for survival is her skill and the Kyber crystal forged after her brother was killed by the Master. The acting from all actors involved was top-notch and proved that fan films deserve more than they’ve gotten in the past.