Behold the Power of This Fully Crowdsourced and Star Wars-Obsessed Internet
January 24, 2012
In the summer of 1977, I was nine years old, and my life was about to be forever changed. Star Wars happened, and it was the greatest thing in the history of...well, ever. It is hard for those born into the world of mega budget CGI blockbusters to understand the impact of Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope on an entire generation. Never before had there been a movie/cultural phenomenon like this. Here was a film that combined groundbreaking special effects with the epic story of how a simple farm boy on a backwater planet becomes a mystical Galactic Hero, complete with a mysterious, mythological backstory and one of the greatest film villains of all time, Darth Vader.
From the moment when the lights came back up on the first film to this very day, Star Wars has taken up permanent residence inside my head. I have a Star Wars T-Shirt for every day of the week. I quote Star Wars on an almost daily basis. I watch the original trilogy at least once a year, every year. The life of a Star Wars fanatic can be a bittersweet one as well, as I was deeply disappointed by the lackluster prequels. We shall speak of them no further in this blog.
I wasn't the only person who absorbed the Star Wars universe into the deepest reaches of my psyche. The whole global culture did as well. If you find that assertion dubious, consider that in New Zealand's 2001 census, 1.5% of respondents listed their religion as Jedi, making it the second largest religion in the country. President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative was derisively dubbed "Star Wars" by its critics, but the country as a whole unironically adopted Star Wars as the unofficial name of the program. I suspect you could strike up a conversation in just about any bar, pub, teahouse, or coffee shop anywhere in the world by using Star Wars as a common reference point.
So what better way for fans to show their love for Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope than to recreate it, scene by scene? Web developer Casey Hugh created the Star Wars Uncut project as an experiment in crowdsourcing, inviting fans to submit their own takes on 15-second scenes from the film. The best takes were determined by voting, and the resulting 473 scenes were assembled to create the final film. The Star Wars Uncut Project won an Emmy in 2010 for Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Media.
The full movie, Star Wars Uncut: Director's Cut is now available at www.starwarsuncut.com or on YouTube. I hope Mr. Hugh gets around to making The Empire Strikes Back Uncut. I already know which scene I'm going to recreate: "And I thought they smelled bad on the outside!"
May the Force be with you,