From the creative imagination of the world phenomenon, blockbuster, space opera, by the one and only legend: George Lucas. Comes an epic tale of Samurais and Shakespeare and an era of black and white films. I’m sure you’re ready to nerd rage, but take a moment to rethink what might have inspired Star Wars, and let us know if it’s valid – is Star Wars a fanfilm?
Fan films have been around for years. From the Batman-Spiderman mash ups, to the recent gruesome “bootleg” less-than-PG-13 version of Power Rangers – it’s been here. But for how long? The concept of a “fanfilm” has only been coined, due to the popularity of “fanart” and “fanfics”. And rightfully so, as artwork and literature depicting characters from popular media and stories are resurrected, reimagined, and restored by fans themselves. From Sherlock Holmes to the Star Wars novels, fanatics of favored characters meet new challenges – audacious at times, and perhaps out-of-character in others – no matter what the situation maybe, it is considered by the fans, and for the fans. It’s become so strong at times, that societies have been established to accept fan made work, and authenticate “official additions” to the lore, such as Peter in Scarlet – the official sequel to Peter Pan, and potentially a movie [see imdb].
Star Wars is no different. From the fans, to the societies, there are fan-everything made of it. But can the homages to this incredible story be considered an homage to an actual fanfilm? CineFix gives us a history lesson (below) in their episode of Film School’d. Their lesson considers Akira Kurosawa as the forefather of the concept of Star Wars. Being a Japanese enthusiast of American silent films, Kurosawa was enamored by Shakespeare stories on the silver screen. So much so, that his most popular movie, Ran, was a retelling of King Lear itself. Lucas was no different. Enamored by Kurosawa Samurai movies, he’s taken nearly the exact scenes to pay homage to the stories he’s retold as a space opera. Communication at its finest. But does it make it a fanfilm?
To dissect this, we reviewed fan fictions that made it to the big screen, the most obvious case in this subject is 50 Shades of Grey. Originally a Twilight fan fiction, Authoress E.L. James substituted the characters names in the story, and gained the reputation as the fanfic writer who shook the world with bondage…and contracts. Of course, no copyrights were infringed, but the concept of E.L. James being a fanfic writer has helped her book become a New York Bestseller, and now a the next expected Sequel of Sequels. But having a completely different story, with characters of different names, appearances, and occupations, 50 Shades of Grey can’t possibly be considered a fanfilm anymore, can it? Otherwise, Star Wars would be respectively be a fanfilm itself.
Homages have no limit, I’m sure, but we would like to ask you: ss Star Wars a FanFIlm? What your opinion? Please leave your comments below.