It was roughly 2003. I was in ninth grade, and my friend Chris, several years older, approached me for help with his short film. He called it Star Wars: The Gifted, and it was an attempt to bring Star Wars into the real world (as we know it). There’s a slow and ongoing effort to remaster the film, to build out the bones of the larger story that we had initially planned. But more important than the film itself or the story behind it is what it represents.
It was the first time I’d seen the possibility that I could just do something creative. Slaving over Photoshop, rotoscoping lightsaber blades onto hundreds of frames of film, showed me that the bar to entry for filmmaking has been lowered to the point that, even ten years ago, anyone can do it.
It captured my imagination and made me the kind of person I am — driven to create. And I cannot stress the importance of that to me.
That’s why this dumb little film holds such an important place in my heart, and why the sequels we never made, Blademasters and Sisters of the Sith, haunt me to this day. There’s so much more in that initial experiment that we never got around to, and part of me feels that I won’t be complete as a creative individual until it’s all revisited in some way.
Maybe a series of novellas. We’ll see what comes of it.
Paddle your own canoe, folks.