Jakku First Wave Short Film

Throughout the original Star Wars trilogy, Stormtroopers were considered nothing but faceless henchman with poor aim who could be dispatched with quickly without a second thought. However, Star Wars: The Force Awakens changed our thinking a bit by making one of our new heroes a defected Stormtrooper who just couldn’t bring himself to kill in the name of the First Order.  Now a new Star Wars short film goes the extra mile by actually making us feel for these white-armored soldiers.

Jakku: First Wave is a simple but affective short film put together by Benjamin Eck focusing on a small group of Stormtroopers who have a few moments to themselves inside an Imperial walker just before a door opens and sends them right into the battle of Jakku. It has the feel of a scene from any given war drama, and it packs a pretty powerful emotional punch.

Watch the Jakku First Wave short film after the jump.

This makes me want to watch an entire series based around a unit of Imperial Stormtroopers. Something like The Pacific or Band of Brothers set in the Star Wars universe would be spectacular, and it would be fascinating to have characters who you empathize with and like despite the fact that they’re working for the Empire.

Eck explains what drove his desire to make the movie:

“It all starts with a deep love of Star Wars. My friend and DP on this project recently joined the 501st legion as a Stormtrooper and it was pretty incredible to see his armor in person for the first time. It felt true and real like an actual historic war relic. Holding the helmet was unreal, here was this thing I’d loved so much my entire life but only ever saw in movies and images and now I was getting to hold it in my hands. That’s when he invited me to try the helmet on and it instantly flipped a switch in my mind. Wow, there really are guys in here. I’d always known that, but this made it real. This made me want to tell a story from their angle, a human angle. Growing up in a military household, I’ve always had a deep respect for our service men and women. So I set out to marry these two ideas and bring a militaristic realism to the soldiers under the armor.”

Even more impressive is they actually built that little set the Stormtroopers are waiting in. Eck researched the inside of a walker, designed it in Cinema4D, transferred it to Google SketchUp and built the set with materials from Home Depot.

All in all, this is one of the better Star Wars short films I’ve seen in a while. Nice job, Benjamin.

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