In The Force Awakens, audiences are first introduced to Rey’s home world of Jakku. Because it is similar to the desert planet of Tatooine from A New Hope, it took a few moments for us to realize that this was a completely different world. One key difference noted is that the planet is littered with remains of a grand battle between the Rebellion and The Empire. Thanks to The Force Awakens companion novels, we know that the final battle of the Galactic Civil War ended on this planet and it is known as “The Battle of Jakku” where the Rebellion Finally defeated The Empire.
Filmmaker Benjamin Eck put together a short film that shows the initial stages of the final battle in Jakku: First Wave. The twist is that the film is shown from the perspective of Stormtroopers as they prepare for the battle. Rather than make then the nameless drones who can never hit their target, they are portrayed as real living and breathing people at war.
Eck describes why he decided to make this film.
“It all starts with a deep love of Star Wars. My friend and DP on this project recently joined the 501st legion as a Stormtrooper and it was pretty incredible to see his armor in person for the first time. It felt true and real like an actual historic war relic. Holding the helmet was unreal, here was this thing I’d loved so much my entire life but only ever saw in movies and images and now I was getting to hold it in my hands. That’s when he invited me to try the helmet on and it instantly flipped a switch in my mind. Wow, there really are guys in here. I’d always known that, but this made it real. This made me want to tell a story from their angle, a human angle. Growing up in a military household, I’ve always had a deep respect for our service men and women. So I set out to marry these two ideas and bring a militaristic realism to the soldiers under the armor.”
Check out the short film.
The film does a great job at humanizing our “enemy” and even giving us their perspective that the Rebels are the actual bad guys. Each has their own reason for joining up in The Empire, and none of their reasons are to be the bad guys of the galaxy. From their perspective, The Rebellion are a bunch of terrorists that are trying to stop their way of life, and even killed their family. With all this talk of live-action Star Wars TV show, it would be very interesting if they showed it from the perspective of The Empire and the gray lines that exist in all conflicts.