Bright suns, readers! @Indy_Filmmaker here! If you’ve been following along, you know that I have been a public supporter of KENOBI: A Star Wars Fan Film. This ambitious short comes from the wonderful Jamie Costa and his crew of merry filmmakers, and it’s a sight to behold!
Last night, amidst the sparkle of Hollywood Blvd in California, I attended the premiere of the film with all the cast and crew, including Jamie Costa, James Arnold Taylor, Director Jason Satterlund, Producer James McLean, and Executive Producers Rich Ferguson and Danny Peykoff. Fans, film industry, and even Star Wars royalty such as Jet Lucas (son of creator George Lucas, and Nathan Hamill (son of Mark Hamill) were in attendance.
With The Rise Of Skywalker currently in theaters, and The Mandalorian on Disney+, we live in a renaissance era of Star Wars content, but that wasn’t always the case. When I was a youngling, we weren’t as saturated in the Wars, only getting a prequel film every three years. In came fan films, a staple of Star Wars fandom, encouraged by Lucas himself. Suddenly anyone could play in the sandbox as long as they had a camera and a vision. This is where my journey into filmmaking began.
Fast forward to today, and the release of Kenobi, a film that embodies those visions and dreams once again, but on a whole other level. The film stars Jamie Costa as the titular hero, living on the planet of Tatooine and watching over a young Luke Skywalker (played by Audie Rick, a dead ringer for Hamill). Jamie’s Kenobi bridges the gap between Ewan and James’ Prequel era Obi-Wan and the talented Sir Alec Guinness’ Old Ben, as he puts his stamp on the character. James Arnold Taylor—who has held the mantel of the role longer than any other actor—switches gears, and plays the big bad, an Imperial that reminded me of Beloq from Raiders of the Lost Ark. James and Jamie’s chemistry truly stands out here, and there’s even a little nod to Obi Wan’s most famous line between them. Both come from a background of voice acting, and it’s evident both need to step in front of the camera more often.
The camera work and production design in the film are top-notch! I felt as though I was watching a Lucasfilm production at times. From the Director to Producers, to the performers in the Stormtrooper outfits—one of which played by filmmaker Alex Stephens—every inch of this film is made with care, love, and possibly the force itself. Even the score stands out, composed by Andrew Gerlicher and performed by The Budapest Scoring Orchestra… yes, a freaking Orchestra.
I don’t have anything negative to say about this film. It’s a Christmas gift from its creators—who are fans—to the rest of fandom, and in a time where the fandom is so divided by silly arguments and lines drawn in the sand, hopefully this labor of love can unite us over the Holiday season. Maybe, if I’m not naive, it will help us remember where we came from, and get back to that joy that united us in the first place. Enjoy, and may the force be with you!
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