One of the greatest things about entertainment is the ways it inspires people to create. Whether that’s paying homage to the properties they love or trying their hand at something more original, art has encouraged gazillions of people to pursue their own creative endeavors, and oftentimes, their work resonates with people all around the world.
The Star Wars franchise is arguably the most influential entity to ever emerge from the world of pop culture. As a result, the saga set in a galaxy far, far away has lit a creative fire in countless creators, some of whom have even captured the attention of those associated with the franchise.
Back in 2015, YouTube channel Dumb Drum, created by Roque Rodriguez and Bryan Harley, made a shot-for-shot low-budget remake of the The Force Awakens trailer using nothing more than a group of friends, some cardboard, and sheets. It’s utterly charming, and a prime example of how homemade entertainment can be enjoyable and brimming with creativity.
After the trailer went viral, the gang was invited onto Good Morning America, where they met John Boyega and Daisy Ridley and discussed what inspired them to recreate the trailer in the first place. According to the filmmakers, it was a labor of love, born purely out of their appreciation for all things Star Wars.
During the interview, Rodriguez and Harley also revealed that they founded a film festival that’s dedicated to fan-made remakes of popular movies and TV shows. The festival, called Swede Fest, was launched in the summer of 2008 in Fresno, California, with the sole intention of promoting filmmaking in local communities whilst simultaneously allowing burgeoning creators to celebrate the movies that inspired them. The festival is ongoing to this day.
Following the success of their Force Awakens experiment, the Dumb Drum team reunited to give the The Last Jedi trailer the same shot-for-shot treatment. With the sequel recreation, however, it became evident that the team improved as creators in the two year span between the movies. While the trailer retains the charm and homemade feel of its predecessor, the sets, costumes, and performances are even better this time around.
Naturally, The Rise of Skywalker trailer was also recreated in the lead up to the saga’s concluding entry. It’s another fine effort from the team, with cardboard cut-outs and backyards replacing the vast desert vistas and galactic settings of the original trailer. Models and figurines are once again used to great effect, and the actors appear to be having a blast.
A lot of time and effort went into making these videos, and the creators’ love for the franchise is evident in every frame. Furthermore, given that they’ve been able to do so much with so little, it’s apparent that these filmmakers have a lot of talent that deserves to be made use of in some bigger projects down the line. I’d be interested to see what they could do with a substantial budget.
If you scroll through Dumb Drum’s channel, you’ll find more entertaining low-budget trailer videos for the Avengers, Pacific Rim, Captain Marvel, and other blockbuster movies. Their content is lot of fun, and I look forward to seeing what they have in store next. Regardless of what that project is, it will undoubtedly inspire other DIY filmmakers to bring their own low-budget creations to life.