Side Project Studios have released a Star Wars fan film titled Days Past, which explores the era between Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV: A New Hope. This pocket of time separating the original and prequel Star Wars trilogies has been the subject of much exploration, some officially part of the Lucasfilm canon and some now contained within the Star Wars Legends collection of official wider media. Perhaps the most famous story set within this period is 2016's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which explored the Rebels' mission to obtain the coveted Death Star plans.
The sheer scale of the Star Wars franchise and the considerable narrative time gaps in between movies means that Star Wars lends itself incredibly well to fan fiction and fan-made movies in particular. Furthermore, there has been a significant increase in the quality and production values of such films in recent years - and the widespread popularity of sites such as YouTube means that a free and powerful distribution outlet is readily available to any aspiring filmmaker to use.
Days Past is set on a planet not unlike Tatooine (albeit with three suns rather than two) and tells the story of a retired Captain of the Galactic Empire, who is visited by a former student currently rising up the Imperial ranks. Although the meeting begins cordially enough, things quickly take a turn for the worse, with regrets and morality coming to the fore. The official synopsis reads:
"Years after the collapse of The Republic, Valera has carved out a life for herself in the galaxy's outer rim. But when an old student returns, she is thrust back into the life she left behind."
Days Past provides a unique, almost every-day, perspective of what life may have been like under the tyrannical rule of a blossoming Empire and also gives a hint as to the type of internal politics that may have been rife within the Imperial ranks. Although light on the action front, Days Past tells a more personal and tension-led story set within that famous galaxy far, far away. Also featured is what could possibly be a brief reference to the famous "Traitor!" Stormtrooper from The Force Awakens, although this may be coincidental.
Although there are a glut of Star Wars fan films available to view online, Days Past is a standout offering among them. Aaron Kunkel's direction is a cut above the usual standard seen in this type of production and the gradual build of tension from start to end is quite masterful. There has also clearly been a lot of attention to detail paid to the props and scenery, both of which do an excellent job of making Days Past feel both believable and a genuine part of the Star Wars universe.
Source: Side Project Studios
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