Pretty much since it’s inception in 1977, the Star Wars fan community has been making their own fan films with the parody Hardware Wars being one of the earliest, having been released in 1978. For roughly 4 decades now dedicated fans have been writing, directing and starring in their own films set in the playground that George Lucas created.
Now that we’ve seen the official trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story we thought we’d highlight some of the fan films that are focused on everyone’s favorite smuggler turned rebel. Without further ado, here are 5 Han Solo fan films worth watching:
The Han Solo Chronicles
This first fan film, The Han Solo Chronicles is actually set after Return of the Jedi and the Battle of Endor, and it follows Han and his two daughters. The trio find themselves hunted by Boba Fett at the behest of the Galactic Empire. What makes this fan film so special is that it’s truly the embodiment of a fan film done purely for fun. The film features Matt Mickelson and his two daughters who were bored and wanted to make movies using their green screen, and that they did. Admittedly, from a visual standpoint, it’s not the sharpest looking of the bunch though they are continuing to make improvements to them with help from fellow Star Wars fans. Check out the full film below and be on the lookout for the Special Edition of sorts that is on the way.
The Solo Adventures
This next entry is actually an animated short film that comes from The Dave School – a digital animation and sound effects school for those of you unaware. It actually won the award for Best Animation in the Star Wars Fan Film Movie Challenge, the official fan film awards handed out by Lucasfilm and Atomsfilm. The short features a really fun animation style that seems more cartoon-like than the styles used in the official animated shows The Clone Wars and Rebels. The dialogue is pretty well written and for the most part seem like things you could imagine Han saying and it doesn’t hurt that John Armstrong does a pretty good job emulating Harrison Ford’s voice.
Star Wars Meets The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
In this fan film movie mash-up, we see the finale of Sergio Leone’s classic western The Good, The Bad and The Ugly re-imagined and set in the Star Wars universe. Naturally, there are some other familiar characters used in this fun short film as Han squares off with Boba Fett and Greedo. Aside from the movie mash-up aspect, this film mostly stands out for the premise alone but it is sharply edited and the few digital effects are pulled off nicely. Another really nice touch was having the titles pop up in Aurebesh – a written language in the Star Wars universe before translating to what would be considered Galactic Basic, English to us. Check it out below!
Smugglers and Scoundrels
Smugglers and Scoundrels is definitely worth checking out as it depicts an event many think will be in the official Solo: A Star Wars Story film. As the short opens, we find ourselves in a somewhat seedy cantina where we find Han playing Sabaac with an unnamed Mandalorian and none other than Lando Calrissian. Of course this short shows us Han winning the Millennium Falcon off of Lando when he lays down an “Idiot’s Array” – kind of like the Sabaac equivalent to a Blackjack or Royal Flush. While some of the costumes could use some work, the actors actually pull off their roles pretty nicely with convincing emulations of Harrison Ford and Billy Dee Williams respectively.
Han Solo: A Smuggler’s Trade
The last fan film we’re highlighting in this piece is definitely the cream of the crop when it comes to Han Solo focused fan films. Virtually all the aspects of this short are handled really well, the costumes, dialogue, production design and acting are all solid, as are the visual effects. They clearly spent a bit more money on this passion project and it certainly helps that actor Jamie Costa does an impeccable Harrison Ford impression. Again we find ourselves in the seedy criminal world as Han is trying to free Chewie who is being held captive by a sort of religious fanatic obsessed with the Jedi. It’s a fun and simple short film with a fairly unique premise. In addition to Han and Chewie, while he’s not credited as such, there’s even a character that looks suspiciously like Dash Rendar near the beginning of the short. The short even features actor Doug Jones who recently played the amphibian man in The Shape of Water, as well as Seru on Star Trek: Discovery. Check it out!
All in all, these are some pretty cool fan films and exactly the kind of passion projects that make the Star Wars fandom so special. Whether they are on the high or low end in terms of quality, these films exemplify some of the most positive aspects of the fandom which has sort of been tainted by a vocal minority as of late. While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, the reaction to The Last Jedi by some was purely toxic, so it’s nice to highlight some of the more positive aspects of the Star Wars fan community.
Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments below. Did we miss a fantastic Han Solo fan film? Chime in and tell us and be on the lookout for our coverage of the Solo: A Star Wars Story as we get closer and closer to the films release!
Images: LucasFilm, Jamie Costa