Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Star Wars Tie Fighter Fan Short Film As Fodder For Your Old School Campaigns

If your a Star Wars fan and you haven't seen this really wonderful piece of animation then you don't know what your missing. Animator Paul Johnson has been working on an Empire inspired 80's anime style seven minute short that pulls on the traditions of shows like Robotech, and other anime classics for this wonderful little short. 
According to what I found on the net - Animator Paul Johnson has labored the past four years in his spare time animating an anime-inspired “Star Wars” fan film entitled TIE Fighter that shows a space battle from the POV of the Empire, humanizing the Stormtrooper pilots and even making them heroes!

A shorter version of this short set to different music has existed on the web for several years, but this is the first time TIE Fighter has been shown in its seven-minute entirety. 
Here’s what Johnson had to say about it: “Don’t support me on Patreon, because I don’t have one! And don’t donate to my Kickstarter, because I don’t have one of those either. Instead, if you enjoyed this, give someone at your workplace, uni, school or whatever a random bar of chocolate or can or Coke or something. Seriously, it’ll probably make their day. That would totally make my day.”
Original story right over HERE
This short takes the Empire's Imperial forces and humanizes them and comes complete with signature characters, implied back story, and more. Seriously this is a solid way of making me almost sympathize with the Empire. Notice I said almost though.  Even though this pulls from the same mental cloth as may of the 80's and 90's Japaneseanimation imports from a bygone era. There is something decidedly weird about rooting for the Empire and goes against the grain of the the Star Wars fan in me. That being said, this is a utterly brilliant little short and the animator deserves an award for his utterly brilliant fan film. Could this be used as the backdrop for a old school Star Wars rpg campaign? Absolutely it could be used as a rather brilliant back story for an old school rpg campaign or adventure. tie fighter

Many of the ships, equipment, etc. are all ships that have appeared in both the West End Star Wars books or the D20 material. The story and animation has enough meat to really pull some great ideas from the back drop and whip them around to produce a rather enduring long term campaign.

The animation is tight, the story brilliant, the characters interesting and this is something that I'd watch but there's something that pulls at my conscience. Its somehow wrong that I'm rooting for the Empire. All in all this is a rather great idea for a campaign and one that I'm sort of filing away for the future.



  1. That is a great fan film. I love the '80s-'90s anime style and all the rotoscoping. 4 years! Yeah, that is a lot of effort for one man to pull-off, and he did a fantastic job!

  2. Yeah Malcadon, I can't believe it either when I saw it last night. Just some incredible work and what the animator did with it. Its basically a love letter to both Star Wars and anime from the 80's -90's. The rotoscoping is done so well in this short, the effort that must have went into this is simply wonderful. Cheers Malcadon and more coming up.

  3. The game that this was based on was pretty dark, too. The central theme was perpetual indoctrination into imperial dogma, with loyalty to the emperor above all else. The ultimate 'goal'/'achievement', unlocked by demonstrating loyalty to the empire and emperor above and beyond orders was to become a member of the inner circle of the Order of the Emperor and get some pretty gnarly secret tattoos.

    While it was probably one of the best things to ever come out of the Star Wars Universe, TIE Fighter was kinda F'ed up, because there were NEVER (not even in the expansions) any moment of pause or reflection on just how messed up being an imperial fighter pilot was. There was a lot of subtext - like the Empire trying to intervene as a neutral arbiter between two warring factions ends with the Empire saying screw it and wiping out both sides - but there was certainly never a road-to-Damascus moment.

  4. No matter how you slice it, the Empire is very dark and has never been the 'heroes' of the Stars Wars universe. I'm not surprised by any of this information. Now I've never played the TIE Fighter video game but no doubt that there's never been any apology for the actions of the Empire at all. Even looking at the short again the heroes don't pause at all against the 'Rebellion' targets. The pilots go out for the glory of the Empire and wipe out their foes. There's almost a 'Das Boat' feel to looking at this short. A dark and somber look into the other side of the forces of the Star Wars Empire. Being Tie pilot would certainly be messed up but its still a very well done short. I'm glad I got the chance to check it out.

  5. Thanks for all of the insightful comments into this awesome Star Wars fan short cirsova. Cheers!


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