Fan films have been around for a while. The Internet has made it easier for audiences to find them. Prior, tapes needed to be circulated and copied, with screenings done at conventions and club gatherings. Today, well, YouTube exists. It’s easier today to stumble across a fan film.

Let’s go back to 1997, twenty years after the release of Star Wars. The Galaxy Far Far Away feels inviting. For the longest time, there wasn’t much done with the setting, not after Return of the Jedi. Fans created droids, built model starships and snubfighters, and dressed in costume. Once home video got inexpensive enough for the masses to own, coupled with editing software, fan films started to take off. This is where the fan film “Troops” comes in. Created by Kevin Rubio, “Troops” crosses Star Wars with the popular reality series Cops. Have a watch.

Lost in Translation has covered Star Wars many times, the latest being The Mandalorian. Cops got touched upon briefly during a discussion of Machinima. To expand, if one hasn’t seen an episode of Cops, the series was built around the idea of having a camera crew ride along with an officer or deputy of the featured police department. The only dialogue comes from the officer, talking about how he or she became an officer and notes about where the filming is taking place. The series is still running, now on the Paramount Network, and has clips on YouTube.

Rubio’s “Troops” follows stormtroopers on Tatooine following up on calls that tie into events of Star Wars. A Grand Theft Droid call leads to the destruction of a Jawa sandcrawler, but the droid is safely recovered, if a little far from home. A domestic dispute call that goes tragic after a farm couple get into argument about why their nephew ran away from home. And even a disturbing the peace call from the Mos Eisley cantina to start the end credits. This is Star Wars, behind the scenes and a few paces behind what Luke does on screen.

The filming, though, follows the style of Cops. The camera is handheld, isn’t steady, and has to keep up with the troopers. The cameraman remains silent, letting the troopers provide the narration and dialogue. The camera is there in the action as an observer, getting close to the stormtroopers. The segments are introduced by the callouts from dispatch. The troopers themselves have accents that come out of the TV series.

Star Wars has opened itself to a wide range of storytelling techniques. The original movie takes its cues from The Hidden Fortress and The Dam Busters. Other entries have taken inspiration from a wide range, including spaghetti westerns with ronin influences. Slipping in Cops, especially on Tatooine, isn’t out of the realm of possibilities. Kevin Rubio added a dash of humour while the characters treated the situation seriously. The result is a fan film that still stands up over time.


This article was originally published at Seventh Sanctum.

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Thanks to our friends at Seventh Sanctum for letting us share this content.

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About The Author

monsterid
Lost in Translation

By day, Scott Delahunt is an IT analyst, fixing problems and explaining operating systems for end users. By night, he takes his degree in Computer Science, his love of movies, his vast knowledge of tabletop gaming, his curiosity into how things work and becomes a geek!  Although he has nothing published professionally, Scott has written fanfiction, scripted an anime music video, play tested role-playing games, and applied his love of bad movies to Lost In Translation.  He has also helped put on an anime convention and organize bus trips to Anime North. In his spare time, he raises two cats to become Internet icons and maintains a personal blog, The Chaos Beast.