Friends, the other day, Tom Berges of I Grew Up Star Wars uploaded something very, very special. Perhaps mind-blowing could be considered just hyperbole until you realize the facts. In 1977 a group of ten-year-old’s got their hands on an 8mm camera, they decided to make a sequel to Star Wars. Which is how the Imperials Strike Back came into being in 1978.
The children featured in The Imperials Strike Back started making this short film in 1977. It took two years for them to complete. Driven with nothing more than the absolute love of the first Star Wars. Of course as with most children, they also had a heaping dose of can-do attitude. Which is certainly evident in the special effects on display!
When I contacted Tom, I offered him first crack at writing this post. While I was itching to make this post myself I didn’t want to take any thunder from I Grew Up Star Wars. I feel that his site’s overall point of being, to share and celebrate the love of Star Wars is being honored with this post however.
It has been 35 years since the makers of The Imperials Strike Back have seen the short film. In addition to that it has been digitized and even has some familiar music in place. I do not know if it was originally silent, I assume so, but subtitles have been added.
Seriously, the heart and love on display with this nearly 22 minute fan film is breathtaking. If you are anything like me you will not only have a big smile on your face by the end of it. But maybe a few tears in your eyes as well at how much love and work was put into the short film. The force is certainly with those who were responsible for this. Obviously as it is with Tom for being so kind to let us share this now. Now be sure to visit and join the fun of I Grew Up Star Wars when you get a chance.
Enough of my gushing. Sit back and enjoy The Imperials Strike Back!
I do believe that after almost seven years with The Retroist I have made it clear I love Halloween. As well as movies and older film technology like 8 mm projectors. So when PlCary contacted me – telling me he picked up two 8 mm reels. I was interested, but then he told me one was a 1966 Halloween party, I was all ears.
Be that as it may, there was one problem. Phillip didn’t have access to an 8 mm film projector. Thankfully I could help with that issue and we agreed to meet up at the arcade. As I felt my co-workers would certainly want to see this bit of history.
However, as fate would have it, my 8 mm projector chose that moment to break. Under those circumstances you can understand how disappointed we were. Having said that though, Phillip was able to secure a projector all his own. One that I might add cost him the staggering sum of fifty cents!
So Phillip and I agreed to meet up again. Furthermore he had made sure to check the mechanical aspects and the bulb itself. All was good to go. In addition to the 1966 Halloween reel we would be able to watch something called “Kay’s Navy”.
On the contrary, it seemed fate was aligned against us one more time. I will let you take a look at the Bell and Howell projector yourself. See if you can spot what the issue might be.
Despite our best efforts of checking everything, the projector that Phillip purchased didn’t have the actual lens. In the light of this predicament I rushed home and stole the lens from my non-working projector.
In spite of all these difficulties we were able to overcome the obstacles at last. As a result we were totally treated to this Cub Scout 1966 Halloween short film. Furthermore both it and the “Kay’s Navy” were filmed at Grand Lake in Oklahoma, just about an hour and a half away.
It was an amazing treat for Phillip and myself to finally see the film.
The Cub Scout 1966 Halloween party was the real treasure although having said that we were all shocked at how well the film has survived.
Coupled with what looks to me to be a Ben Cooper or Collegeville skeleton costume it is certainly an undeniable pleasure. In fact if you look closely at the moment where the costume is shown there are vintage lunchboxes too!