After months of waiting, the YouTuber rewarded us with one of the greatest fan films in recent memory. Here are some of its best moments.
Star Wars Theory is out here doing the (Sith) Lord’s work.
After countless audition videos, behind-the-scenes looks and teaser trailers, the man himself finally gave us what we were waiting for: the Vader fan film. It’s only 15 minutes, but man, there are a load of memorable moments in this one.
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I’m not here to review the film itself, I’m just here to revel in its awesomeness. Remember the hype around The Last Jedi last year? Of course you do. And remember how it kind of let a lot of fans down? Yeah, how could you forget? Well, even though the scale of the two films isn’t even close, Star Wars Theory’s Vader film more than lived up to the hype (plus, you didn’t have to leave your house to see it).
Other than Darth Maul: Apprentice, this has to be the best fan-made film that I’ve ever seen. It honestly felt like a real Star Wars movie. If you’ve seen the film already (currently trending at No. 2 on YouTube), you know what I’m talking about. If you’re like me and have been with Star Wars Theory since near the beginning of his channel, you couldn’t be happier.
These next few scenes were the ones that really made Shards of the Past what it is – a really good movie.
*Honorable mentions? For a 15-minute movie? Yeah, it was that good.
Vader in the medical chamber
This scene just really gives us a sense of how battered Darth Vader’s body is. I mean, yeah, we saw what happened to him on Mustafar and we saw him in his tank in Rogue One. Here, though, we get up close and personal, a real look at how much Vader relies on the suit and how much maintenance he needs to go through just to survive. You can just see it in the details of his face –even though he’s only eight months removed from his defeat to Obi-Wan, the wounds are still fresh.
A fun fact about this scene? That’s Star Wars Theory playing Vader in the medical chamber.
Yeah, I’m cheating a little bit here. Seriously though, that first sentence after a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away – Anakin Skywalker is DEAD. You know, just in case you forgot.
This isn’t technically a scene, but it’s driving home the fact that the little kid from Tatooine is gone. The crazy-in-love guy from Attack of the Clones is no more. Now, it’s all Vader.
I also liked these credits because it’s as if Emperor Palpatine is the one saying it. Try to imagine Palpatine’s voice saying those words – that old, dry, raspy voice. Anakin Skywalker is DEAD.
Star Wars Theory face reveal
I’m not talking about that scene in the medical chamber. I’m talking about the face reveal that Star Wars Theory posted a few days ago. The dude is ripped – not what I pictured in my head all this time. Anyway, back to the real stuff.
Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
5) Arriving on Naboo and that Mace Windu cliffhanger
When Vader jumps to lightspeed and then arrives on Naboo, the visual effects of the film are on full display. Like I said, this thing did not feel like a fan film.
In this scene, Vader arrives on Naboo and meets up with his clone troopers. After being sent there by Palpatine amid reports of a Jedi wielding an amethyst-bladed lightsaber, Vader says that he’ll use the 501st. It becomes pretty clear that they’re dealing with Mace when the commander says that of all the troops they’ve sent into the catacombs, none have returned. If that doesn’t sound like Master Windu, nothing does.
Of course, Star Wars Theory leaves us hanging at the end. After hearing Padme’s voice calling out to him, Vader turns around and looks down into the catacombs, witnessing the clones’ destruction at the hands of Mace. We then see a purple light emit from below, and Vader ignites his own weapon. Chilling.
Somebody hit that bell. It’s time for Round 2.
4) The vision of Padme
Fresh off snapping Palpatine’s neck in a dream sequence, Vader hears his younger voice and looks up to see himself handing Padme that famous necklace. Vader reaches out to his wife, who says his real name, giving us a brief glimpse at whatever’s left of Anakin Skywalker.
Photo Credit: [Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith] LucasfilmAfter a warm embrace, Padme lets go and the unexpected happens – the yellow Sith eyes. Starting out in her regular voice, it abruptly turns into Palpatine’s, who’s explaining to Vader that this is why he’ll never beat his master. Palpatine lets out that classic laugh of his and proceeds to attack his apprentice with a bombardment of Force lightning, leading us right out of the dream sequence and into the medical chamber. Perfection.
3) “Fighting” with Emperor Palpatine
Same dream sequence here, right before the Padme vision. After brilliantly fending off some clone troopers, Vader turns on his new master and takes out his anger on him by breaking his legs (not totally sure if it was his legs, but something definitely snapped there). He blames Palpatine for the failure to save Padme’s life and then calls him out for not giving him what he was promised just months before.
We learn pretty soon that Palpatine is just fine, sending forth another attack of Force lightning, This time, though, Vader uses the corpse of a royal guard to absorb most of the blows, then flings his lightsaber across the room so that it’s up against Palpatine’s face. Vader eventually has to relinquish, Palpatine gets up and starts talking smack, but the Chosen One isn’t having it and proceeds to choke the life out of his master (a lot of Thanos/Loki Infinity War vibes here).
I love it.
2) Meeting with Palpatine after the dream sequence
I love this scene, mostly because Vader has to suppress all of his hate for Palpatine, even though he knows he’ll be able to sense it. Just listen to this quote, Palpatine talking to Vader while Vader tries to hide his feelings:
"“Your anger radiates like a whirlwind. Yet, unfocused. No……….not unfocused. Hidden. You’re trying to hide your rage from me. Why? Ahhh, I see. Then what is your hesitation, Lord Vader? Give in to your anger, strike me down!”"
LAS VEGAS – MAY 29: Actor Ian McDiarmid’s Emperor Palpatine character from the Star Wars series of films is shown on screen while musicians perform during “Star Wars: In Concert” at the Orleans Arena May 29, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The traveling production features a full symphony orchestra and choir playing music from all six of John Williams’ Star Wars scores synchronized with footage from the films displayed on a three-story-tall, HD LED screen. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
And thus, the seeds are planted for Palpatine’s almost identical talk with Luke in Return of the Jedi. Vader denies wishing to harm his master, so Palpatine takes his apprentice’s lightsaber and taunts him some more, even saying that Anakin’s powers “dwarfed” Vader’s. Palpatine then gives Vader his weapon back and tells him to use his hate to eradicate Skywalker. Then, we get a pretty similar moment to that of Kylo’s when he kills Han – Vader could strike down his master and be done with it, but chooses not to.
The Emperor goes on to explain that Mace Windu is wreaking havoc on Naboo and orders Vader to go take care of the situation. There’s a cool moment here when both Palpatine and Vader acknowledge the power that Mace wields, and Palpatine says they both know that he wields a great deal of it (pretty much a direct reference to the epic fight in Episode III).
Palpatine then tells Vader that by eliminating Mace, he’ll be able to fully embrace the Dark Side and the gifts it presents. Then, we get a cool look at the Rule of Two in action when Palpatine says “only then will you be able to destroy the rival before you.”
1) “I WILL NOT BE DENIED.”
The opening sequence of the Vader fan film sets the tone immediately.
Photo Credit: [Rogue One: A Star Wars Story]LucasfilmWe begin with a close-up of Vader, who lets out a chilling and awesome quote: “I WILL NOT BE DENIED.” He disposes of a bunch of clones and officers with ease while, at the same time, Force choking Palpatine behind him. That’s unlimited power if I ever saw it.
As Vader is about to off Palpatine, reinforcements arrive and (foolishly) attempt to stop him. He deflects the first round of fire, but then his lightsaber is shot out of his hand. Then, my friends, we get the coolest moment of the whole film.
The clones give it all they’ve got, but it’s not nearly enough to stop this freight train. Vader casually stops all of the blasts in midair (picture what Kylo did in The Force Awakens times 100, and you’ve got it), then sends them back at the clones.
It felt a lot like that Rogue One scene did, and that’s fine by me.