“Vader Episode 1: Shards of the Past” is the first installment in a fan film series by the Star Wars Theory YouTube channel, and it’s a good ‘un. Taking place in the early months of the Empire—after the full fall of the Republic but before the Clones were replaced with cheaper Stormtroopers—the film focuses on Darth Vader, forced to carry out the Emperor’s will even amidst deep resentment and confusion.
It’s fertile ground for a Star Wars story, as the recent comics have shown, and the creators of this film do some interesting things with it. It opens with a lengthy fantasy sequence, featuring Vader acting out all his fury at himself and his Master, before setting up a conflict that seems like it should be impossible.
Really, though, the star here is the visual design, which captures a live-action Star Wars look perfectly. It’s particularly thrilling to see Clone Wars-style clone armor in live action. It’s well worth a watch for that alone.
No word on when we’ll see more of this story, but I’ll be keeping a lookout.
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