Fans who are eagerly awaiting the release of Star Wars: Episode VII can take heart: there is another Jedi vs. Sith battle for them to enjoy, courtesy of Georgia wide receiver Chris Conley and his film Star Wars: Retribution.
Retribution isn’t just any Star Wars fan film, however. Conley had some major help from Georgia football videographer Frank Martin, according to Deadspin, and it shows in Retribution‘s visual effects. Lightsaber and blaster-fueled battles are beautifully rendered, and if they weren’t taking place on the University of Georgia campus, they’d look perfectly at home in any Star Wars film.
Darkness Falls July 5th. Tell your friends and subscribe to my YouTube Channel. (Link on my Profile) Thank you pic.twitter.com/BsQrqdGhmU
— Chris Conley (@_Flight_31) June 22, 2014
Conley stars in Retribution as Khari Vion, a Sith Lord exiled for attempting to force Georgia students to wear jean shorts (or Jorts). Wielding twin red-bladed lightsabers, Conley’s costume echoes elements of Darth Vader and Darth Maul from The Phantom Menace, though it is laudably original. The Empire shows up in Retribution, with Imperial Stormtroopers facing off against defenders in Mandalorian armor, and even the occasional Jawa.
— Chris Conley (@_Flight_31) March 15, 2014
The humor is almost as strong as the Force in Star Wars: Retribution, evident from the first moments when the opening monologue crawls up the screen as it does in every Star Wars film:
“It is a period of Peace and Prosperity. The city of Athens has enjoyed years of Football and Parties under the protection of the Jedi order and Mandolorian Naast Clan.”
“The fallen Jedi Khari Vion has been exiled since the battle of Snelling in which he tried to kill his former Master and force students to wear jean shorts. His defeat was hard fought and ultimately left his face disfigured.”
Killian, played by David Gridley, is “on the brink of being a Jedi Knight and having his masters in Awesomeness,” according to the monologue, setting up the near half-hour lightsaber battle between the Jedi and Khari Vion.
Retribution started life last year, when Conley reached out via Twitter to recruit local Star Wars fans for a lightsaber duel which he was planning to film. The response he received was so overwhelming, Comicbook.com reports, that the project evolved into a full Star Wars fan film.
Fans have often sought to bring the Star Wars films to life in one form or another. As The Inquisitr recently reported, the 501st legion, a charity group composed of Star Wars fans, carries out community service activities while wearing realistic, screen-accurate costumes (usually stormtrooper armor) from the films. In April, members of the 501st even walked as an honor guard for Jack Robinson, a 4-year-old cancer victim whose dying wish was a Star Wars-themed funeral.