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‘The Empire Strikes Back’ Crowdsourced: 480 Fans Remake Classic Star Wars Film

“The Empire Strikes Back: Uncut” is a new fan-made, shot-by-shot recreation of the classic Star Wars sequel that is often considered the best of the series and a standout film in its own right.

The film was crowdsourced by 480 fans who each submitted 15-second clips. After sifting through more than 1500 submissions, Lucasfilm debuted their official cut on YouTube Friday and the video quickly went viral.

The fan film, which clocks in at just over two hours, showcases some wildly diverse styles, a testament to the creative impulses of a Star Wars’ thousands of fans – and also the different resources available to each. But just as impressive is the skillful editing that weaved all these disparate pieces together into an innovative, fresh take on a piece of film history.

In case you don’t have two hours to spare watching all of “The Empire Strikes Back Uncut,” The Verge’s Chris Plante has you covered with a list of his top nine scenes. They include a “cuter and squeakier” version of the Battle of Hoth, starring CGI party balloons contorted into Rebel and Imperial shapes; the Millennium Falcon asteroid chase scene reinterpreted with LEGOs and country music; and the dancing duet of R2D2 and Lando Calrissian.

The cut features all sorts of cinematic styles, from live action to multiple types of animation, as well as scenes reimagined with children and animals. It also marks the second such project after the phenomenally successful fan cut of “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” debuted in 2010, the product of Star Wars fan and web developer Casey Pugh.

In the same fan-friendly spirit, the new video begins with a short message from Lucasfilm’s Mary Franklin, the company’s Senior Events and Fan Relations Lead, announcing the revival of the Star Wars Fan Film Awards. The deadline for submissions is January 16, 2015, and the awards will be announced at the Star Wars Celebration next April.

In the meantime, though, and perhaps to get a spark of inspiration for your own fan film, check out the impressive “The Empire Strikes Back Uncut” above.

[photo credit: “The Empire Strikes Back Uncut”]