After Ikea and meatballs, Christina Lindberg and Max von Sydow as Ming, is a Star Wars sequel the next big thing from Sweden?
Coming to a computer near you on February 23rd is Star Wars: Threads of Destiny, a fan film created by fans of George Lucas’ Star Wars saga. The low budget film took 9 years to complete, with people contributing work from all over the world. The director, actors, and the rest of the shooting team all live in Sweden, and the whole film was filmed in Stockholm, but in English dialogue.
Says Rasmus Tirzitis, director of Threads of Destiny: -We wanted to make an adventure style film that pushed the boundaries of what could be accomplished in video production within a small budget. Since Star Wars is one of the biggest adventures in modern history, it seemed like a natural choice.
Set 100 years after Return of the Jedi, the story takes place as the Jedi order and the Republic are once again active. The planet Coreign produces a special ore that can power an entire city, but the Skenvi empire is interested in its potential for supreme spaceship armor.
Threads of Destiny was conceived to give artisans and craftsmen the chance to showcase their work, but also to try to show the industry what can be done with a small budget, dedicated people, and undiscovered talent. Tirzitis: -The purpose of Threads of Destiny [is also to] let all the involved the chance to leve out their dream. We see the film as a jumping board to other projects. This is not the end, just the beginning for us all.
Pre-production started in April 2005, and shoots took place in studio and on locations around Stockholm, Sweden in the fall of 2005 for 22 days, with another 10 days of shoots in 2006, 2007 and 2008. The film cost nearly $6.000 to make, mostly spent on raw materials for sets, props, costumes, catering and equipment rental. Over 100 artists from around the world volunteered to work on the 1500+ VFX shots, using their own personal computers. Lead artist Andreas Feix, who contributed close to 800 shots (721 in the final cut), did most of the work on a notebook. He later went on to work on Game of Thrones season 3. Others have had jobs on Prometheus and Harry Potter 7 following this project.
The main characters include Princess Arianna Ad’Lah, who is sometimes impatient and wants to be something beyond what she is given as a princess. She is intelligent, sincere, and often knows when someone is watching her, even if they are in a different room. Jedi Padawan Raven Darkham is a strong-willed and kind-hearted Jedi apprentice, soon ready for the trials. He has been known to get a bit frustrated when things do not go his way. Jedi Master Soran Darr is a strong, wise, and patient Jedi Master. He is known for his teaching skills and has been known to be a calm negotiator. Lord Siege is calculating and a powerful negotiator. He is very deadly when the need arises. He knows how to play the field and when it comes down to it, he is able to take the best of a situation and turn it to his advantage.
Threads of Destiny is not authorised or sponsored by Lucasfilm, but a couple of years ago Lucasfilm stated that they not only support but also encourage fans to make fan films, director Rasmus Tirzitis says. Everything related to Star Wars is owned by Lucasfilm and can not be used to make money for fans. -Selling or otherwise make money from this film is illegal. It can be copied and spread, but not sold. What I have made from this movie is all the knowledge and contacts that came with the project. Making a Star Wars film attracts attention, which I am grateful for. I have met many people that I’ll be working with after this movie, and I have already worked with some collaborators on other projects, Tirzitis says.
A prequel comic book has also been produced, with stories leading up to the events in the fan film, consisting of three introductions to some of the main characters. The comic book is also free and can be downloaded here.
Starring Patrik Hont, Carolina Neurath, Karl Lindqvist, Andreas Rylander, Karl Winden, Sabinje von Gaffke and Pale Olofsson who acts from a screenplay by Michael Bano, Jeff Long, Matt Davis and Steven Parker. Directed by Rasmus Tirzitis (Vilsen) and produced by Henric Brandt (Syner, Dead on arrival).
The English-language 110 minute film, which is produced by Tirzitis Entertainment, Branbomm film and Eclipse FX, will be distributed for free and solely online, as a download via torrent networks (recommended for best quality) and on YouTube from February 23, 2014 (gala premiere in Stockholm the day before).