This week, SF and film fans have been abuzz over Star Wars Uncut, Casey Pugh’s ambitious three-year-long project to recreate the first Star Wars film using only 15 second sequences sourced from, well, everyone.
The edited-together film was released this past week and the resulting fan-sourced collection is mindblowing. The flurry of sequences crosses through nearly any style you can imagine. What’s more, it completely revitalizes the film for Star Wars fans who, most likely, have it completely memorized. You still know what’s coming, but now you don’t know how it’s going to arrive. Everything is new again and it evokes an excitement that hasn’t been felt since watching it for the very first time.
Still a little hesitant? We watched the film here in the office and pulled out over 100 of our favorite moments from the movie. Join us below!
We’ve tagged the moments with timestamps in case you’d like to jump to those sequences immediately. The timestamps aren’t entirely exact, so give yourself a leeway of a few seconds when hunting it down.
1:35 – This new end to the opening crawl is pretty typical of today, but would be entirely baffling to an audience in 1977.
3:40 – When you put Woody from Toy Story‘s back against the wall, he will fight the Empire with guns blazing.
4:30 – Tremble before the might of a ladies-only Empire! One that knows how to enter with style. (We’d hate them if only they weren’t so snazzily dressed.)
4:45 – The Empire gets pint-sized and one stormtrooper needs his mommy to hoist him down the hall. (But that’s okay. That’s kind of the point of the real Vader.)
5:30 – The first entirely CG sequence appears.
6:33 – The first entirely animated sequence appears, looking very Adult Swim-ish. (Complete with Starfleet gag.) Star Wars Uncut plays host to a huge amount of differing animation styles.
7:05 – The first sequence constructed completely out of paper dolls and sets!
9:42 – A sequence that reuses the pixel animations from the 16 bit Star Wars games. A cute cheat, that.
10:55 – An offscreen reader recites the story excitedly, as if it were an audio play, flipping the pages of the scene. We were sad to see this version end so soon!
11:26 – LOLJawa
11:50 – Homer Simpson hunts down Artoo
12:11 – Artoo’s Jawa collapse sequence is played out by a small child who falls very well.
13:00 – Losers Weepers Jawas Keepers
13:99 – Sneaky robot barbeque grill!
14:30 – C3P0 finds Artoo at Comic-Con in the Sandcrawler.
16:26 – Next time we’re at a party we’re taking a stick that just says “JAWA” on top. That way we don’t have to keep introducing ourselves.
17:00 – Luke makes his triumphant debut as
a paper bag.
17:47 – The “Toschi Station power converters” line is expertly whined.
18:08 – Someone reveals their mastery of Paintshop on an old black and white Apple computer. (Complete with motivation error!)
18:23 – The first all-cat sequence.
19:15 – Threepio’s homo-erotic tendencies become less subtext and very much overt text. Not to our taste, although we quite like the implication that Biggs is a bit of an asshole to Luke.
19:56 – First ad-libbed dialogue joke. We imagine it was very hard for a lot of folks involved not to get carried away doing this.
20:25 – “You know about the rebellion against the EMPIRE????”
21:55 – Someone hides a remix in their sequence! Everybody dance!
23:40 – The unrestrained sorrow of dinners at the Skywalker Moisture Farm.
24:42 – The unrestrained surrealist nightmare of dinners at the Skywalker Moisture Farm.
25:32 – A surprisingly emotional Minecraft-created sequence. (We wonder how many of these were submitted.)
26:05 – Now playing C-3P0: Lt. Commander Data and his Flying Delorean! (As the Bat Signal hangs in the Tatooine sky.)
26:35 – The first all-puppy sequence.
26:55 – Star Wars interpreted as a text adventure game. Go west! West!
27:25 – Uncle Owen makes it VERY CLEAR how much hell there will be to pay if those droids aren’t back soon. Yikes!
27:30 – A very energetic, nifty speeder search sequence that rivals the movie’s speeder sequence in excitement! Bravo, dudes.
28:31 – “There’s little baby brothers Sand People, alright, I can see one of them now.”
28:55 – Luke’s passed out in front of the garage door again.
29:25 – An intensely odd animated sequence that you can’t look away from? Check. (This is Obi-Wan revealing himself to Artoo.)
31:03 – Obi-Wan and Luke look so relaxed. This getaway to Tatooine must be doing them a world of good.
32:30 – Think twice before disagreeing with Cockney Obi-Wan.
32:45 – Through the force of his performance alone, an intrepid fan turns the introduction of the lightsaber into a note-perfect TV salesman pitch without changing a single word. One of our favorite sequences.
33:00 – Threepio smokes a pipe now.
33:10 – A noir-ish take on the lightsaber introduction.
33:50 – Two fans film their skit while sedately conducting their radio show.
34:55 – The first all-clay sequence.
36:07 – Obi-Wan really really really enjoys a head scratch.
36:23 – A Trekkie finds himself in the wrong Uncut film
36:35 – An all-robot Empire is somehow creepier than the real Empire. Must be heard to be believed.
37:05 – The first all-news-crawl sequence.
37:20 – The first all-pony sequence.
37:35 – Ever wondered what this movie would look and sound like on a bad acid trip? Yeah, you don’t have to anymore.
38:38 – The first repeat players appear! The movie went for an awfully long set of 5-15 second sequences before being forced to use a different sequence from a group of actors who appeared earlier in the movie. These actors show up more throughout the Uncut film.
40:00 – How to depict the burned skeletons of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru? Animation. (Thank god.)
42:28 – So does Uncut go with the Special Edition Mos Eisley approach or the original? Seems like the Special Edition, if this sequence is any indication.
44:10 – Moe Syzslak guest stars in the scariest depiction of the Cantina.
45:20 – Not sure, but it makes an odd amount of sense.
46:05 – Obi-Wan slices up a bar patron in the style of Kill Bill
47:04 – Suddenly, Star Wars: The Musical!
47:55 – Child actors? Whomever they are, they’re extremely expressive for such young kids!
49:14 – “Going somewhere, Solo?” “Sigh. YES, Greedo ” (Extra points for saying the line in no-Greedo speak but offering Greedo-speak subtitles for the, um, Greedos out there.)
50:00 – Han shoots first. HAN.
51:55 – The extra Jabba scene makes it into Uncut, adorably.
54:00 – The Nissan Cube. She’s got it where it counts. (But seriously, no way that car could do .5 past lightspeed.)
55:00 – Right actor! Wrong costume
56:15 – The Death Star and Alderaan sing a lovely duet of “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”
57:05 – Tarkin and Leia are older enemies than we realized! (Wish we could get our grandparents to do this.)
59:15 – The 3D chess match becomes an animated sequence about as twisted-looking as the actual one from the film.
59:52 – We’re not sure what this represents. (In our lives, that is.)
1:02:45 – Flying through the debris field of Alderaan does kind of seem like it would be a tense French car ride.
1:03:08 – It also does kind of seem like it would be a voyage in the Yellow Submarine.
1:04:00 – Suddenly the film reverts to showing you as you watch the film! Disturbingly accurate. (Aside from the faint hints of muscle.)
1:05:27 – Sherlock is a leader in the Empire? Nooo!
1:07:09 – Silly Stormtrooper, that’s not how you use a boomerang! (One of our favorite sequences.)
1:09:45 – The somewhat inevitable Star Wars/Big Lebowski mash-up. Shut the fuck up, Threepio!
1:10:43 – Star Wars in the style of old Disney/Rankin & Bass animation looks pretty great, actually! We’d watch an entire movie made of this.
1:11:31 – Hey! It’s the folks from internet sensation (around here, anyway) Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin’!
1:11:46 – Finally, the point of view from that weird tiny zippy droid that zooms around the floors of the Death Star all day. (Turns out it’s usually having a fabulous time!)
1:12:14 – A much-needed interval.
1:16:28 – Stop-motion jointed drawn-on cardboard for this sequence. Good style.
1:18:46 – Something about this disco ball room sequence evoked the laser-ricochet-trash-compactor scene really well for us. Or maybe disco balls just make us tense.
1:19:17 – We were wondering when Jay & Silent Bob were going to show up. (Well, a version of them.)
1:19:40 – Behind you, Luke! (This is immediately followed by a live action sequence of a guy in his undies scrambling around a bath tub full of rubber duckies yelling “Luke!” over and over. This was also a dream we had.)
1:21:00 – The first (only) all-ferret sequence appears. (Watching ferrets try to figure their way out of a box is kind of hilarious, though.)
1:22:58 – An all-baby trash-compactor wall-crushing sequence provides a fresh supply of nightmare fuel.
1:25:40 – Obi-Wan sabotages the tractor beam Tron-style!
1:26:23 – This sequence plays out entirely through trading cards and added word balloons and actually functions pretty well!
1:27:50 – An intense blaster fight plays out through wooden dolls and one Japanese mecha. (And some interesting choices in Death Star wallpaper.)
1:28:15 – A great animated interpretation of the rope swing, complete with Indiana Jones butting Luke out of the picture.
1:29:20 – An amazing technicolor lightsaber duel.
1:29:30 – Two lightsaber duel enthusiasts seriously amp up the Obi-Wan/Darth fight, making it fast as you can blink and extremely fierce, mirroring the style of the fights in the prequels!
1:29:43 – Just as the action gets heavy, though, the duel gets German expressionistic.
1:32:06 – The Millennium Hamburger makes us hungry. (FOR STAR WARS!) We hope this is how Lucas originally conceived of the Falcon.
1:32:36 – Using the old star voyage screensaver to pretend we were in the Falcon is something a lot of us did as kids.
1:32:45 – Lunch bag puppets mourn Ben’s passing.
1:33:25 – Our heroes come under attack by Bow TIE Fighters! (Luckily they survive them too.)
1:33:20 – Why is Chewie represented with a horse mask now? So great.
1:34:25 – “Great kid don’t get cocky” becomes a little more apt if you’re yelling at an actual kid.
1:35:09 – Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose” is used to earth-shatteringly appropriate effect. There has never been so much subtext between Chewie and Leia. (As lonely Tarkin watches ) Perhaps the best sequence in the whole film. But did you know, that when it snows….
1:36:05 – Pieces of paper saying “buttons & knobs” instead of actual buttons and knobs works for us pretty well.
1:37:00 – We are sad to report that the infamous “I care” line lacks the oomph of the final film. (Who cares about that line? WE care.)
1:37:04 – Han and Luke sail home in a Flying Delorean
1:39:00 – Burt and Ernie and Chewie and Han.
1:40:10 – Luke almost keeps going on about his womprat-bullseyeing skills, but is silenced.
1:41:15 – iChat takes over when a face to face between Luke and Han breaks down.
1:42:17 – Luke eats a muffin to comfort himself over Han leaving.
1:42:37 – The Special Edition scene between Biggs and Luke is included although we don’t remember them being so relaxed about going up against the Death Star.
1:45:08 – Reds 1 through 7 get a severe makeover. (Some of those alien species seem downright illegal.) This is the same animation contributor who created the rainbow Obi-Wan from earlier in the film. (Scroll up for a pic.)
1:45:38 – A near Teen-Girl-Squad-esque sequence with stick figure pilots talk about the Death Star attack.
1:45:50 – A steampunk intepretation of the Death Star approach with subtitles, complete with Imperial steam trains!
1:46:03 – Turns out supervising a Death Star attack is a great family activity!
1:47:02 – Poor Porkins. He belongs to the Matrix now.
1:47:08 – Worst Final Jeopardy ever.
1:47:51 – The almost perfect caricatures of these characters is made clear by over-emphasizing the lines just slightly more than the “real” actors. The various looks all the “pilots” give are also spot-on for anyone who has seen the movie.
1:48:20 – Quote our designer Jamie, “AAAAAHHHHHHHH – fantastic.” And is that Animal at the :30 mark?
1:48:47 – We enjoy whenever kids are used in this, because their perfomances are almost entirely devoid of intentional humor. For some reason, these final Death Star battle sequences are the most touching, because as kids we all recited these lines along with the movie, too.
1:49:14 – Vader is a dog-unicorn? What?!
1:49:22 – A Death Star trench and landscape made entirely out of DVDs and books is
kind of amazing, actually. We’re going to go home and build stuff out of entertainment right now!
1:49:58 – It turns out that Star Wars is actually just Darth Vader playing with his Lego toys. So Darth Vader is playing with Darth Vader. Sorry if we blew your mind there.
1:51:18 – In a nice homage to the origins of the making of the movie, straight up WWII fighter plane footage.
1:53:30 – Luke is making his attack run and he is freaking OUUUUUT. Artoo, see if you can’t lock it down.
1:56:00 – The climactic Han Solo last second save sequence sure is pretty in pink.
1:57:00 – One of our favorite parts, a guy gets out of his SUV to re-enact Luke’s triumphant return to the hanger bay only to be greeted by a little kid (his daughter?)
1:58:14 – Leia gives the awards to Han and Luke, but mostly to herself.
1:58:53 – Girl Luke’s reaction laugh to Artoo dancing is oddly perfect.
1:59:08 – Leia smiles as the Ewoks invade the awards ceremony and Chewie wonders what the hell is going on.
You know what the best part is? We only just scratched the surface of what Star Wars Uncut contains. There’s a lot more hiding in there, especially in certain scenes like the Cantina, the Death Star runs, the TIE Fighter turret fight, and, oddly enough, the dinner scene at the Moisture Farm. Those scenes seemed to inspire a lot of various takes. You’ll also find a lot of Lego re-enactments and more gold foil Threepio’s than you ever thought could exist. (Also fun to note that to a lot of people “play Chewbacca” means “take your shirt off.”)
There’s also quite a bit of soundtrack humming in the film and it’s interesting to watch that sort of phenomenon when you’re not the one doing it. You even start to get a little annoyed with it as the film goes on, as you get swept up in the movie and the humming can often take you back out of it.
The whole of the cellblock shoot-out sequence might be the best stuff if only because it features two animations, several low-budget recreations, odd deliveries of line delivery along with actual sound dialogue from the movie. So many people chose the bathroom for the trash compactor sequence.
The edited-together sequences also make you realize how much happens in the original Star Wars once the action gets going. If you were to miss three minutes of the movie to go to the bathroom, you’d would miss Obi-Wan’s death and the Falcon’s escape. And yet, the movie itself takes a long time to get to that point! Greedo isn’t shot until 50 minutes into Uncut and we don’t meet Leia for another 25 minutes after that. The movie has yet to unspool its huge battle sequences and there’s only 45 minutes to go!
Watching an online video for two hours sounds like a chore, but Star Wars Uncut is very much worth it. It’s one of those TV Tropes-ish experiences where you start watching just a little bit then find you can’t stop.
We can’t wait for Empire!
Stubby the Rocket is the mascot and often random voice of Tor.com. It is also made of many different parts edited together.