Every single fan film to ever surface on the internet has to answer one question: “Why?” Why would a creator spend so much time and energy playing in someone else’s sandbox? Why didn’t they create something original? Why should we watch a fan film when movies is and TV shows made by seasoned professionals exist? That brings us to Star Wars: TIE Fighter, an animated short that’s so impressively made that even those who roll their eyes at fan films will have to at least acknowledge the skill that went into crafting it.

Created by YouTuber Paul Johnson (AKA, OtaKing77077), Star Wars: TIE Fighter depicts a massive space battle between Imperial forces and the Rebel Alliance with a little twist: our heroes are the “bad guys.” The resulting short almost feels like a propaganda reel that exists to convince people to sign up and fight for the Empire. Flying a TIE Fighter has never looked sexier. For once, it’s the X-Wings that look like cannon fodder.

Painstakingly drawn in the style of ‘80s anime, the short is gorgeous and vibrant, re-envisioning the Star Wars universe in a way that we truly haven’t seen before. It’s colorful and fast and stylized, actually looking like an official project that was made a few decades ago and then totally forgotten. It took Johnson four years to make Star Wars: TIE Fighter and his blood, sweat and tears are evident. Heck, to give you an idea of just how long he’s been working on this, we first wrote about this project three years ago, back when all he had was a two-minute demo.

Even if you’re not an anime fan, this hand drawn style is so much more pleasing to the eye than cheap CG graphics of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. Take a hint from a very, very dedicated fan, Lucasfilm.

Johnson even went ahead and made a poster for the short, which you can check out below.


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