Star Wars: Revelations (Review)
Star Wars: Revelations
Available free: Official Site
Star Wars is one of the most popular creations in the history of mankind. As it follows, Star Wars is also one of the most popular subjects for fan filming ever. From the humble beginnings with Hardware Wars, to the magnificent Troops, Star Wars has a rich, wonderful history of fan created cinema to enrich it’s already overflowing tapestry. As the coming of Episode III and the last Star Wars film ever (for now) approaches, let us go over a recent fan release, what is one of the most ambitious fan projects to date. Set between Episodes III and IV, this project is rich with well done effects, elaborate costuming, and a budget of unimaginable proportions for a non-profit fan project. Does it all come together? Or will this end in tears, horror, and Chewbacca ripping of arms? Let’s find out.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
From the beginning of the opening crawl: Seers once shaped the path of the Jedi Order. But their visions grew unreliable and the Jedi came to distrust these with the ability. Seers hid their visions or left the Order forever. After the Jedi Temple’s destruction, a rift between Vader and Zhanna, the Emperor’s hand, has developed. Each seeks to eliminate the last of the Jedi. Caught between them is one woman, Estelle Getty! Okay, the Estelle Getty part is a lie, but would have been cool.
Yep, now the Jedi Order was in the business of expelling people who saw the future. Even though Yoda could see the future as well. I guess we should ignore that and pay attention to the movie. We cut to a woman flying her ship and heading towards a planet. She is Taryn Anwar, and you know she’s from space because her name has a “y” in it. Taryn receives a hologram from Zhanna, the Emperor’s Hand. They have a past, and Taryn acts all catty. Taryn prefers to work alone now, except for the large chip on her shoulder. Taryn lands and talks to a CGI version of the Jabba’s Palace Door Droid in order to get into a nightclub. Inside the nightclub we run by Boushh and Taryn gets a vision of the future. Almost everyone in this bar is a human, aliens and droids must be hiding in the closet, there are a few aliens in the background, but they are out of focus and often overlooked. Taryn is then hit on by an ever-lowering procession of greasy, slimy men. The final hittee is a guy named Declan, who would fit in swell at an SCA meeting. In fact, that’s probably what he does when he’s not starring in his friends’ home movies. He is also the most likeable character in this piece. Declan has some artifact Taryn wants, but it is in possession of his new partner, Cade. Taryn sees a vision of Cade being present when her Jedi sister is killed by a bunch of Stormtroopers. Cade and Taryn hate each other, mostly because Taryn is an unlikable shrew and Cade is a reject from Vampire: The Masquerade who got dragged into this production because he has a pickup. Cade is angry, like a guy who’s always angry, and angry. Did I mention he’s angry? Because he is. So angry. Cade angrily wanders off to set up the next segment…
Imperial Troops arrive to arrest Taryn, but some local militia intervene, then Taryn and Declan jump out the window of the club and fall several stories, to land on the ship piloted by Cade. The make their escape, and now comes the moment that makes this whole movie worthwhile. A very nicely done TIE fighter chase sequence happens in orbit of the planet and through an orbital shipyard. This is the highlight of the film, and the effects here are better than many of the real movies I’ve reviewed on this site. If you decide to watch this movie and are getting turned off by some of the corniness, just keep watching until this scene. After that, you can go back to freezing squirrels in liquid nitrogen and using them to drive nails into your new patio or whatever you do for fun.
After the excellent sequence, some quibbling between Cade and Taryn reveals that Cade is some sort of Jedi as well, one of those angry Jedi. Normally I’d go into some tirade about how the Jedis are just giving away membership to anyone, but after some of the total scrubs who were Jedi in AOTC, this Cade guy and Taryn would fit right in, and it’s a shame they didn’t make it to the final battle sequence then to get offed. “Darth Vader” with an oddly sitting helmet and costume worn by a guy with the physique of a wire hanger speaks to the “Emperor,” who’s makeup was realized by putting five pounds of clay into a shotgun and blasting at his face. This is setting up a scene that has actual alien diversity. It has a lot of aliens, some of them well constructed, some not so well. There is even a working R2 unit wandering around the place. Why weren’t any of these people in the bar? Instead, we get Boushh. Boushh sucks. Some guy in a Snaggletooth mask? Cool. The Emperor tells all these aliens who are supposed to be ambassadors that he’s the Emperor and something about taking some powers, then troopers shoot one and send the rest home. So evil.
Some random prison thing (with some well done effects) with Zhanna grabbing some lady. I didn’t realize this at first, but this is the sister of Taryn, who everyone thinks is dead. Zhanna herself is played by a girl with the facial structure you would expect from an evil witch queen. You probably knew her in high school, spending time with a harem of vampire/goth geeks that did her every bidding because the only other girl that would talk to them was the fat goth girl who cut herself. If the actress had a nose ring it would be a complete stereotype. She fits the evil woman look perfectly, so it was a good casting choice. Taryn, Declan, and Cade fly through a neat looking damage field and land on a planet that is supposed to have a secret temple on it. Inside, Zhanna is there waiting for them, with three goons who also have lightsabers and the missing/presumed dead sister. The sister is a seer as well, and is to be used to activate a long dormant machine. This machine is the great power that the temple is rumored to provide people, and after some old messages of long dead Jedi plays, we find out it is a tracking device showing where every Jedi is in the galaxy. Shanna grabs the info, as it will make her boss very happy. Her goons are to kill off the rest, but Taryn chases after her. The three evil Jedi fight with the remaining heroes, showing off the lack of a fight choreographer. Declan just grabs a lightsaber out of the hands of one of the evil Jedi. He must be from the same school as some of those lame Jedis from AOTC, probably the Jedi B-squad. That is soon solved by having one of the evil Jedi stab another in the back, then he and his companion run away. Declan and the sister head back to his ship while Cade, the angriest Jedi of them all, goes to try to save Taryn.
Taryn and Zhanna are fighting, lightsaber-style, when Zhanna whips out a smaller light-dagger. Taryn counters by double weilding lightsabers. The actress looks as though she has never even had so much as a broom in her hands before, clumsily swinging away, and the duel wielding looks like she can barely lift the weapons. Zhanna is scared off by this and runs away. Running away is a recurring theme in this movie. Cade and Taryn then run away as well, because the Temple is exploding. Temples are supposed to explode after the end boss is killed, not after the end boss runs away. This movie just violated one of the laws of video games!
EPILOGUE: “Vader” is so happy to get the list of the whereabouts of the Jedi from Zhanna he forcechokes her dead. Tee-hee! Sister managed to send a copy of the Jedi whereabouts to Declan’s ship, so they can contact the Jedi and get their help for the starting to form Rebellion, and they give the info to Mon Mothma (offscreen.) We know this doesn’t work, all the Jedi but two are slaughtered, and Taryn, her sister, and Cade all have to die horribly before the first trilogy can begin, so it’s a bittersweet ending. At least Declan isn’t a Jedi, so he could theoretically still be out there somewhere, dressing up as a bard and singing songs while playing his lute for some ail, as overweight girls in chain mail giggle and scrawny guys pretend to be knights or goblins. With Star Wars, anything is possible.
Rated 5/10. Four for the special effects, one for Declan not being as bad as the other actors. The special effects alone save this from being thrown into the “ugly” category.
Rated 5/10 (Fan art, fan guy in fan art, fan guy, fan art, fan guy)
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