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A couple of years ago a bunch of Star Wars fans recreated Episode IV: A New Hope through a crowdsourced collaboration of epic proportions. With every fan providing 15 seconds of footage, the parts were woven into one whole that represented a creative remake of the film that launched a thousand franchises. That original effort drew a lot of attention and eventually lead to the powers that be at Lucasfilm to help bring the next chapter of the Star Wars saga to the small screen.
Which brings us to today, the day that we discovered that the officialStar Wars YouTube channel dropped the next installment, dubbed The Empire Strikes Back Uncut, on the unsuspecting masses. Produced through the same model of cooperation as Star Wars Uncut, Empire Uncut blends approaches ranging from animation to models to even people running around pretending to be Tauntauns. All are presented in short bursts, and all run roughly the same run time as the original film.
While artistically it's a little difficult to watch, The Empire Strikes Back Uncut isn't really meant to be watched as a serious narrative. Instead, it's meant to be seen as a piece of art, something that can be engaged in actively rather than passively. You can scan through the entirety and look for your favorite moments as they're reinterpreted by fans like you. It's an experience that almost makes you wish Topher Grace would stop holding out and release his prequel trilogy recut already, as remixes like this are what keep art alive and thriving.
Speaking of keeping art alive, Lucasfilm has also decided to resurrect the three years dormant Star Wars Fan Film Awards. If you're so inclined, you can submit your entries to StarWarsFanFilmAwards.com between now and January 16, 2015. The winners will be screened at next year's Star Wars Celebration convention in Anaheim, California; so be sure to send them your best. After all, there's a lot to celebrate in the world of Star Wars starting next year.
While we're still unsure whether we'll see the original, uncut versions of the Star Wars trilogy, this is probably the closest you'll get to the old school/independent feel that the Star Wars Trilogy originally possessed. So make some popcorn, throw on your Jedi robes, and enjoy The Empire Strikes Back Uncut! If you want to make it a double feature, or if you haven't seen Star Wars Uncut's version of A New Hope, you can click over to Page 2 and watch the film that started it all, inspired by that other film that started it all.