George Lucas’ contribution to the popular culture cannot be overstated. The Star Wars universe is so well imagined and so richly detailed that it has beckoned to amateur filmmakers for almost 40 years. Today’s offering is one of the more remarkable answers to that call that we have seen. Here is Star Wars: The Secret of Tatooine, a clever and at times remarkable fan film that tells the tale of how Luke Skywalker and Ben Kenobi met in the Tuskan desert on Tatooine. French director and film maker Jordan Inconstant, with an international team of French and Spanish production artists, has brought this story to life.
Not all fan films about Star Wars are made in the United States, or even in English. This one is in French. Fortunately for those of us who do not speak French, there are English subtitles. Be sure to turn down the volume on the Krypton Radio stream if you have it currently playing. The sound track is lush and richly detailed, and you won’t want to miss a note.
There are some wonderful things about this film. The design and look of the film draws us in and makes us feel right at home. The soundtrack is wonderful, and so well done that we simply accept it as part of the universe we know and love. There is an immediate understanding that we are in the Star Wars universe. Obviously, budgetary constraints don’t allow most fan films to do things like full set recreations, but Inconstant works around these limitations by constructing well known locations almost entirely in computer graphics and animation. The acting is fairly good, but is somewhat hamstrung by simplistic camera setups that often miss opportunities for dramatic visual storytelling, with the line of action often simply perpendicular to the camera’s line of sight. Still, it’s a magnificent effort.
Even with these limitations, the spirit of the story is still strong, and this is the first effort we have seen to portray this missing piece of the saga. As fan films go, this is one of the more intriguing ones, and it has moments of excellence.