Dec. 5, 2022

ILL-FATED: Our Unfinished Fan Film (Season Finale)

ILL-FATED: Our Unfinished Fan Film (Season Finale)

In our season finale, we recall how we (mis)spent our high school years


SEASON ONE FINALE: Josh is joined by frequent guest and co-host of THE SECRET ORIGINS OF MINT CONDITION, Chris, and our old friend Mike, to discuss a shared dream we had from 1999-2002: to make our own entry into the Star Wars universe, a fan film called FATEFUL. We discuss our memories of the film, why we wanted to make it, and why we were ultimately unsuccessful. (But it's really about the friends you made along the way, amirite?)

We also read a scene from the film and Josh has posted his lightsaber screen tests here: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cl1ez38JbRQ/

We have at least one more bonus episode coming in 2022 but after that, please follow us on social media (instragram.com/trashcompod & twitter.com/trashcompod1) or sign up for our newsletter at trashcompod.com to learn when we announce our plans for season 2.

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Transcript

[00:00:00] JOSH: Welcome to the season finale of Trash Compactor season one. I'm Josh, and today I'm joined by frequent guest and co-host of The Secret Origins of Mint Condition podcast, Chris.

[00:00:12] CHRIS: hey ya'll.

[00:00:13] JOSH: And making his first appearance on a Trash Compactor, a very old friend of both of ours, Mike. How you doing, Mike?

[00:00:19] MIKE: Hello there. Very good, thank you.

[00:00:21] JOSH: "Hello there." Was that an Obi-Wan reference or it was just what came out naturally?

[00:00:24] MIKE: Let's say it came out naturally and inadvertently turned into an Obi-Wan reference.

[00:00:28] JOSH: Fair enough.

[00:00:29] CHRIS: It evolved. It evolved as you were saying it. I could hear that. It was very nuanced.

[00:00:33] JOSH: And these particular guests are on today's episode for a very specific reason. Namely, they were both involved in my ill-fated fan film project circa 1999 to 2002, known by many titles. But the last one, it seems, based on this script, I managed to dig out: Fateful. And I want to talk to both of you.

[00:00:59] First off, what's your first memory of this fan film project? We were in high school, and Mike, you were gonna play one of the leads, and Chris, you were gonna play one of the leads also, right?

[00:01:11] MIKE: I think so.

[00:01:12] CHRIS: I think so, that sounds right.

[00:01:13] MIKE: I think I was playing — if he wasn't named Del-Von then I think I was the younger apprentice. No actually, cuz I remember one specific line that I don't think made its way into the second draft about trying to convince somebody about how the Force was real. And that line could only have been coming from a master, I think.

[00:01:32] JOSH: Oh, that's interesting. Well, regardless, um, what are your memories of the project? Mike, why don't we start with you.

[00:01:40] MIKE: Sure. Well, I don't remember specifically the first time you came to me and talked about it. I remember there was a period of time, a few months when it was kind of just in the ether between us, between us and the group, those that were involved. But what I do remember specifically is the table read in your backyard of what was an early draft, or I don't know if you can even call it a first draft.

[00:02:04] It definitely wasn't called Fateful yet. I don't even know if the character names were the same. But yeah, we just sat down and had a read and Chris you were there. It was you, me, you, Josh. I think Max was there as well. Yeah, that's my most vivid memory of this project besides I remember we did test footage in your backyard also of me with a double bladed lightsaber that disconnected into two individual ones. And I did some, you know, simple stuff with it.

[00:02:34] CHRIS: For some people, the rest of us, it looked not at all simple.

[00:02:38] MIKE: But I remember, you saying that it was frame by frame reminded me that when you sent me the original one, I remember looking at it and like something didn't look right and it turned out that you had missed one frame.

[00:02:49] And like, as I was spinning it around, it looked like the lightsaber was cutting through my wrist and you actually had to go in and you found one individual frame that you had missed. Do you remember that?

[00:02:58] JOSH: I did not,. I still don't, but I believe you. That sounds, it's, it's too specific to, have been made up.

[00:03:03] MIKE: Right. To be fabricated

[00:03:05] JOSH: Yeah. So that definitely sounds true.

[00:03:09] MIKE: Yeah. Cuz that was you, that was the VFX part of it. You wanted to see the kind of choreography we can do. Um, and yeah, that, that's my most, but the most vivid memory is definitely the duel with Max and the table read.

[00:03:22] JOSH: And Chris, what about you? you probably don't remember the very first, memory of it, but, what are your general memories about this project from that time?

[00:03:31] CHRIS: I was re I, first of all, I was really excited to do this episode because as I sort of like read the script and thought back on my memories, um, it occurred to me that every single one of them was embarrassing. So I was really looking forward to sharing each of those , each of those here today.

[00:03:46] JOSH: Wait, I'm sorry. Embarrassing for who?

[00:03:49] CHRIS: Oh, no, no, no. For me, Oh, this is, no, this is for me. And. And it's the kind of thing that, like, looking back, I'm, you know, you know, sometimes your, your brain goes, Hey, remember when you did this thing? That was super cool, dude. Yeah, my brain likes to do that. So this is embarrassing.

[00:04:04] And so I'm gonna enjoy the hell outta sharing this actually. So one thing I remember very vividly, um, was that when this was talked about, um, you know, up until this point, Josh, you and I had done a number of sort of like screen tests, type lightsaber, duel type things. And some of it was like the unofficial play in your backyard when we were younger.

[00:04:23] And then as we got older and you figured out, Oh, I can make lightsabers. I was like, I want a lightsaber. Um, but. Learning about the experience that Mike had with martial arts and that Max had, it was very exciting that it was like, ooh, think of what we could do with that kind of choreography. So I remember not knowing what the hell I was talking about, but like kind of always having those conversations with Mike and Max, like being in the hallway between classes and like, just like picking their brains because it was like, Ooh, like I, you know, I want to get to this.

[00:04:57] Let's, let's do this. What do you guys have in mind? Um, so I remember that very vividly and that same sort of eagerness I remember translated to sort of dogging you. Like you both have kids. You know what it's like when your kid wants something and they start getting that like whole sneak attack ninja thing going on where like you're doing a thing in the kitchen, you turn around and you're like, Ah, what?

[00:05:19] And they're like right behind you and they want a thing. That was me about this script and this project.

[00:05:25] MIKE: I do kind of remember that.

[00:05:26] CHRIS: Yeah, like anything that was going on, whether her, it was a rewrite, whether it was choreography. I didn't need to have anything to do with it. I just needed to be in proximity to it.

[00:05:34] So like I was there like every step of the way that I could be not really contributing necessarily so much. Just like grinning and nodding happily.

[00:05:43] JOSH: Well, that's really cool. So, Well that's really cool to hear actually, because, um, you know, one of the things I wanted to discuss eventually, and I guess that kind of ties into it, is like, why were we doing this? What's the motivation to, to do this? What was, driving it, but also my memory, you know, I was really trying to. I don't know if, if I was doing this consciously, but I was really trying to teach myself how to make a film, how to write a film, how to shoot a film, how to put a film together, how to do special effects. Because if you're doing Star Wars, you need to do special effects. Like I was really, like, for me, while I was excited and enthused about it, I also feel like I, I put a lot of pressure on myself to kind of figure out how, how to get it done.

[00:06:25] And of course, ultimately it was never finished. We never actually shot it. But, um, I do remember that every time we got to a new step, like either, the read through or, you know, succeeding and doing one of the test shots. You know, certainly seeing Mike and Max, demonstrate for us their incredible choreography.

[00:06:47] Like I do remember, like, getting little hits of adrenaline or like, you know, little glimpses of like, wow, like, this is actually, it's still possible. It's still, it's, it's still something that might actually

[00:06:57] CHRIS: Well, but correct me if I'm wrong, wasn't this sort of the first time that you actually had more people working with you? Like you had a team, like in the past, whenever, whenever you were working on a film project and I worked with you on some of them, like the, You wanna talk about ill-fated, the Jurassic Park one?

[00:07:14] Um,

[00:07:14] JOSH: Okay. Well that one was like a day

[00:07:16] CHRIS: Right,

[00:07:17] JOSH: I think we shot that in

[00:07:18] CHRIS: That's, that's what I'm saying. Um, but like, this is the first time that you had actually, you were actually bringing in people who were bringing some of the table that you couldn't. Right, which was specifically like Mike and Max coming in with choreography. That was stuff that, that you couldn't just do on your own.

[00:07:35] It was more than just having bodies in front of the camera. Right. So I

[00:07:38] can appreciate That That was one of the reasons I was excited about it was because there were multiple people bringing their own expertise to it.

[00:07:46] MIKE: I, I was super honored that you, What is that?

[00:07:49] JOSH: this is, uh, concept art that,

[00:07:51] MIKE: Oh, wow.

[00:07:52] CHRIS: did. Yeah.

[00:07:54] JOSH: get. He actually, he sent me the original a few months ago and I framed it.

[00:07:58] CHRIS: That's.

[00:07:59] MIKE: amazing.

[00:08:00] JOSH: so, yeah. So, so, but along the exact lines of what you're saying, you know, I never had like a concept artist. He was also, he was going to, construct this, costume.

[00:08:10] He knew how to do that. He had that experience. And we were talking about, he reminded me when we spoke, briefly about this, I wanted, James to come on for this conversation, but unfortunately the timing didn't work out. But he was saying like, Yeah, like I remember, we had long conversations about the materials I wanted to use.

[00:08:25] And I was asking you like, what, what colors you wanted for what characters. And I had until he said that, I had no recollection of that. Um, but yeah, like you're exactly right. Like I had never done something, tried to do something , that involved bringing a group of people together to work on a common goal.

[00:08:45] MIKE: It was very exciting. And I remember, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think we were all in drama club by that time. So I mean, we, we all, we all enjoyed acting, um, you know, regardless of our individual talent for it. I, I loved, you know, Chris, you mentioned the martial arts thing. I, I absolutely loved every second of staging that choreography with Max and Josh,

[00:09:07] I remember having the same feeling you did. You know, when, when we were reviewing some of the footage. Just going, man, this could with everybody, your VFX and your amazing, you know, writing skills and, the choreography and, and the, the different acting talents put together. I, it, it was just a really exciting thing to be a part of, especially at that young of an age, having done nothing like that before.

[00:09:28] And obviously all of us being huge Star Wars fans and that was really at the height of all of the fan fiction too that we had been look looking at. Um, I still remember some of the fan fiction. What was the, what was the website? It might have just been fan fiction.com and they had a whole Star Wars section and like

[00:09:46] weekly they, do you remember that weekly they would put new, new short movies up and some of them were really well done and some of them were crap, but some of them were really impressive.

[00:09:57] Uh, and I, and I, and I remember seeing some that had amazing chore choreography going, I wanna do that, I wanna do that with Josh. And that was right around the time that we had been talking about this, this concept.

[00:10:09] JOSH: So I think what you're talking about is fanfilms.com that actually became, that actually became, TheForce.net Fan F ilms.

[00:10:18] MIKE: Okay.

[00:10:18] JOSH: And I actually sat down with the guy who ran that, two weeks ago and I interviewed him. So that episode will be dropping, , a week or two before this

[00:10:29] CHRIS: That's awesome.

[00:10:30] MIKE: I'd love to listen to that. Yeah, that was, I, I remember going into the library in Schreiber and just going to that website, like on or off periods and just seeing what was new.

[00:10:39] CHRIS: I think that was the other element too, was that like, at least from my end, why it was easy for me to be excited was because I was, I was always generally gonna be excited about this, but like, is that periodically, Mike, you and Max would be like, Okay, so we've been talking about this new thing that we'd like to introduce, and Josh, you sort of had the same, the same experience of like whether it was a new draft on the script or something, but there was always, there was something new coming from more than one person, which is part of what made me think like, this, this is gonna happen.

[00:11:07] Like everybody's hyped about this. There's always like new interesting stuff happening. So like, yeah, I, I, I, uh, I totally forgot about that site, but I remember now.

[00:11:15] JOSH: No, and definitely, and you know, like, because I think, that was where, I expected it to end up like I expected it to, go up to TFN Fan Films one day.

[00:11:27] MIKE: Me too.

[00:11:27] JOSH: because I don't know if you

[00:11:28] recall, at the time, this was an age where video on the internet was kind of a tricky proposition.

[00:11:34] Like there was no YouTube, there was no such thing as . Like, you just, you know, the, the, the ability to shoot video to get it onto your computer. Then to get it to a file size small enough where it was practical for someone else to download and then have to host it somewhere and then have to convince someone not just to click a link, but to click a link and download the file to their computer so

[00:11:59] MIKE: right. Cuz this is before streaming.

[00:12:01] JOSH: Right.

[00:12:01] It's before streaming. It's before YouTube. Um, there, so, so that's why a platform like TFN fan films was really essential, I think, in creating this, larger phenomenon of fan filmmaking. because it was sort of the hub for all of that activity. like you were just saying, like, you know, we were aware that this was possible and that these things existed and, you know, you would see a well choreographed lightsaber duel and be like, I think I can beat that.

[00:12:30] I want to do something like that. Right? Like, like, so, so there's that component of it as well that I think really made us all feel like this was something real, like it was doable.

[00:12:41] MIKE: I wanted to see it on that website. I, I was so hyped for, for it to get done in some, in some shape or form, and just have it up there. I, I thought would've been so cool.

[00:12:53] JOSH: Yeah. Well, instead we just have a bunch of, um, uh, read throughs and, and, special effects tests. I know Mike, uh, there's one in particular that, that I know exists. I know these, these tapes exist, and I, I will find them. I've only found a few of them. I will find them. I know that they're there.

[00:13:11] MIKE: Yeah, I just scoured through all my old hard drives and, and, and files and stuff. And seeing if I had, Because you sent it, I had a ver I had a digital copy of it somewhere. Um, I, and I don't anymore like my, my oldest file in my computer's from 2011. So I all this stuff before then, is just gone.

[00:13:29] JOSH: so let's talk about the actual story itself. The script itself. So the version that I sent you guys is dated February, 2002, but this was a project that was in the offering for, much longer than that since at least, you know, 1999, 2000. And, you know, I read it, I appreciate the kind words that you said, Mike, about my writing ability, but I, you know, having read it recently, um, it is kind of cringy.

[00:13:58] I think it's written by someone who, who, who's trying to be a good writer. I don't know that that it actually is, but,

[00:14:05] MIKE: what you're saying, but even, even for that, I, I mean, the, the, you can see, you can read it and see the talent there and, and I'm not just, you know, I'm not just blowing wind up your ass here, but it, it really is good. I, I actually read it on, I was on a research trip on the, on a research vessel and I read it there while I was on watch and just, just thinking.

[00:14:25] And I had the whole, you know, I had the bridge to myself and I'm just reading it going, Man, this is, this is really good. And then I had to remind myself that like a 17 year old or a 16 year old even wrote this, um, going man,

[00:14:37] like this is, this is, this is, this is impressive. And I really liked, and not just the writing of it, Josh, but honestly just the, the, the arc of it was I was, I thought it was a very good complete closed short story, uh, that really holds up plot-wise.

[00:14:53] Um, I love the way it jumps around in time. You know, it starts at the end. And it kind of ends kind of where it started again, you know, with, with clips going to the end, throughout the, you know, in kind of a Tarantino esque or, or, or a, you know, or a Nolan esque type style. Uh, well, well ahead of its time. I think, um, that is just very enjoyable and I think absolutely could have evolved in this.

[00:15:18] Like if you tried to write this now, I'm sure it would be even better with all of your experience since then.

[00:15:24] JOSH: Oh, well, thank you. I, I am genuinely very humbled and appreciative, by those, kind words. It's, um, you know, one thing that I do think that is there, like, it was, it was definitely written with an eye toward, you know, kind of gesturing at a large epic story, but with an eye toward making it

[00:15:46] containable to what I thought we could do. So like if you read it, there's only really like three, four, maybe five, um, locations and only one real set that we would have to work at. It's like, you know, there's like an alleyway. There's, um,

[00:16:01] MIKE: The landscape

[00:16:02] JOSH: yeah, yeah, like the landscape, like the right, where the duel happens and,

[00:16:07] um, the bar and the spaceship cockpit is really the only one that we would've had to figure out how to, um, how to finagle together.

[00:16:15] But I have a feeling with the resources of our drama club department, we could have, um, had them do something pretty spectacular for us. But, um, so, so yeah, it, it struck me when reading it that it was smart. How I wrote it. I wrote it you know, thinking in the back of my mind, Okay, like, how are we actually going to do this?

[00:16:36] So it's not like, you know, huge, huge armies of storm troopers or like huge, space battles. It's sort of like a personal thing and it's contained.

[00:16:46] MIKE: I was just about to say it's a very personal story. It, it, it, it is a, a grand story, but it is basically, it boils down to th you know, the interactions between three people. Four, if you count Aldiss. and it's, just, like you said, it's, it's, it's a very personal story.

[00:17:01] JOSH: Yeah. My one main, uh, critique, and this is just, uh, me in general, I just think it's overwritten. I just think it's very wordy.

[00:17:08] Um,

[00:17:08] CHRIS: I mean, that's act, it's funny because that's what what Mike was saying to build. Off of that a little bit. Um, yeah, I mean, you know, when I reread it, like I, I can see what you're saying, Josh, but the thing is, as somebody who was writing at the same time as you were, and my writing was so much more heavy handed, it's very easy for me to draw distinctions between our, our styles of writing at that time and like just, and just how good you were at having a much softer touch.

[00:17:38] And yeah, sometimes it got a little bit wordy, but also like, you know, I think that's some of that is, is is youth and some of that is inexperience. But like, the other thing is that, know, I, I personally imagine is really having to pour your heart into that script because you were also trying to keep it something we could film, right?

[00:17:57] So since you couldn't lean on special effects, you couldn't lean on, aspects of storytelling that you would now, which you would do with your filmmaking as opposed to your writing, since you couldn't lean on those things you had to, you, you had to write more story, I think.

[00:18:16] MIKE: I don't think it's wordy per se. Um, what I think it is, my take on it is more so that there's a difference between writing dialogue in a normal, you know, fiction world and writing dialogue in a Star Wars world. Not, not just science, not just science fiction in general, but specifically like, you know, characters in the Star Wars.

[00:18:37] Metaverse have a very specific way of talking. And I, what I see is someone who is trying to write something in that vein w without really trying to make it campy, , or corny, and I, and I think that that's what I see from it is, is you're, you're, you're trying very obviously to write it in the Star Wars manner of speaking and not, and actually in a smaller subset of that, not just the Star Wars manner of speaking, but the Jedi way of speaking.

[00:19:08] You know, Jedi Masters have a

[00:19:10] very specific way of talking. You know, Padawans have a very specific way of talking. Um, every character in this universe has their own kind of, specific, uh, what's the word I'm looking for here? Not dialect, mannerisms, that's verbal, but you know what I'm trying to say.

[00:19:25] CHRIS: No, like speech patterns. There's a word I,

[00:19:28] Yeah.

[00:19:29] MIKE: But, but, but I think you did a good job on that, uh, in, in kind of not overdoing it. Um, so I don't think it's wordy at all, honestly. And, I think it's just more Star Warsy, if that makes sense.

[00:19:40] JOSH: no, totally. No, no. And I mean, you know, first off, I just wanna say I genuinely am very appreciative of the kindness of what you both have said. I did not come here expecting this to be a love fest about my writing. I actually thought it was, we're gonna be like a, a taking the piss sesh. But so,

[00:19:59] CHRIS: Don't, Don't be fooled. Listeners, we signed a disclosure. We signed a waiver form.

[00:20:04] JOSH: So, um, but no, I mean, genuinely that's, that's, uh, that's very lovely of both of you to say, um, one thing. So, so, and I do think you're right, you know, reading it. I can tell that I was like trying to inhabit the voice of the way we had just heard Jedi Masters and Jedi Padawan learners speak in Episode One.

[00:20:26] So, because

[00:20:27] MIKE: Right. This is, this prequel speak.

[00:20:29] CHRIS: Yeah,

[00:20:29] this

[00:20:29] is, This Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan speak

[00:20:31] MIKE: Yeah, AB that. That's what I was always visualizing when I'm reading this is, okay, this is the relationship, because we hadn't really seen

[00:20:38] that

[00:20:39] JOSH: was, this was B, Right? Right, Exactly. And if you look at the date, so this, uh, draft is February, 2002. So this is before even Attack of the Clones. So the, the only Star Wars, prequel, Star Wars, Jedi Star Wars that we had seen was just Episode One, The Phantom Menace. Um, you know, I think you're right.

[00:20:57] Like the one, character, the Aldiss character who's sort of like the smuggler Han solo character, I think was the attempt to sort of add another flavor in there that maybe in retrospect I was sort of aware was kind of missing from, from Episode One. And there's something fun.

[00:21:14] The idea you're taking a young Jedi and then throwing them together with like a hard edged smuggler guy and like have them play off each other. It's a whole different setup dynamic, you know?

[00:21:28] MIKE: There are definitely archetypes in the script. You know, I mean, I mean you can't really do Star Wars without doing archetypes. So yeah, you have the master, the Padawan, the smuggler and the Smith. I mean, uh, or the Sy rather, excuse me. And you know, those are like the typical archetypes you'll see in, in a Star Wars story.

[00:21:45] And you know, what I really like about some of the newer content that's coming out is they're trying to get away from that, those archetypes a bit. And I really appre, like Rogue One tried to get away from it, which I think is severely underrated.

[00:21:56] CHRIS: Agreed.

[00:21:58] MIKE: which is obviously very Rogue One esque. Um, kind of, I feel like those are kind of the offshoots that are trying to steer away from those archetypes.

[00:22:09] JOSH: No, definitely. Like, you know, one thing that I wanted to ask you both was, there are a number of reasons why, you know, I feel like the, the heyday of fan films in particular Star Wars fan films is behind us. And one of the reasons is the need for them has kind of been obviated by all of this new Star Wars content that we're getting, that is, professionally made and licensed and is exploring all of these underexplored corners of the Star Wars galaxy.

[00:22:36] That, that at the time, like we were left to our own devices to kind of imagine for ourselves. And, you know, they are doing things like they're, they're trying different styles and like really stretching the Star Wars concept to see where it can go and what else it can do beyond the same old, same old.

[00:22:54] And one interesting thing about fan films in general, which you alluded to before with, um, you know, watching the, the new fan films that would come out on TFN Fan Films way back in the day. Is that like the cliche in my mind, about Star Wars fan films, is that It's all like lightsaber fights in the forest, right?

[00:23:14] I mean, like that's what the vast majority of them are, and I think this one has a lot of that, but I was trying to also make it more than that.

[00:23:24] MIKE: it was the story that led up to that. Like, okay, they're having a lightsaber duel in the forest, but what's the backstory to it?

[00:23:30] CHRIS: We would actually earn that fight so that by the time we got to it, people were like, Oh, cool. Okay. So this is like you said, Mike, this is part of the story. It's not just an excuse to wield lightsabers.

[00:23:40] MIKE: Right. It's kind of, it's kind of, you know, meta in that sense where it's like, okay, you took the biggest general cliche you just mentioned, the lightsaber fight in the forest. Okay. . But like, what's different about this story is yes, the whole thing is really about that and how we got to that point, but there's all this backstory behind it.

[00:23:57] So it's almost as if you, you played off that cliche and turned it to your advantage when you were writing this. Oh wow. There's so much story that could lead up to a lightsaber fight in the forest. You know, let's give both of these characters really specific, detailed backstories as to why this never ending battle really is, is happening.

[00:24:16] Um, which I thought was really clever,

[00:24:19] JOSH: No. Yeah, the, the centerpiece of this film, Don't get it twisted. the whole centerpiece is the lightsaber fight between a Sith and a Jedi. Um, but you know, like you just articulated and I had never really realized until you just said it, but the whole film is working to explain, it's set up and justify why that fight is happening.

[00:24:38] MIKE: Yeah. And happening over and over again. It's not just happening like it's, it's, it's there, there are multiple iterations of it. And whi which I also like, and I don't know if you did this intentionally, but it does seem like it's one of those stories where like, you left room for it to grow. You know,

[00:24:53] there's more, there's obviously more to the story that we don't know.

[00:24:58] and I feel like, and I don't, Did you do that intentionally or, or was that kind of just an uh, you know, a side effect?

[00:25:05] JOSH: Well, you know, it's hard to remember, to be completely honest with you, but there was a concept that I was surprised wasn't in here that I remember. Um, I may have written in another draft or for another thing, but I had a concept that the planet itself that they were on was Force sensitive.

[00:25:23] Like it was kind of a conduit for the Force that sort of like exerted its own will. And I think they did something along those lines in, I don't know, Chris, maybe you would know, like Rebels or Clone Wars?

[00:25:35] MIKE: It's like a four

[00:25:36] CHRIS: was,

[00:25:37] MIKE: planet.

[00:25:37] CHRIS: there was, there were, they did like Force sensitive spaces, right? Like they did, um, much like with, you know, uh, in empire. We see it in Empire and we see it in, Last Jedi with these places that are strong with one side of the Force than the other. I don't remember like a fully Force sensitive planet.

[00:25:52] What I remember was there was a planet on which the three, um, the three representations of the Force existed. The father, the son, and the daughter. And that was a planet that was like specifically for them. The father was the balance, the daughter was the light side and the son was the dark side and Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Ashoka end up there, but I don't, I don't remember like the planet itself specifically being like a, a conscious like Force being

[00:26:17] MIKE: I, I remember the opposite. I mean, there was a series of books that came out right around the time I stopped reading them, which was about a, a species that was devoid of the force. And they came from a whole galaxy that was devoid

[00:26:29] JOSH: Oh, the Yuuzhan Vong or

[00:26:31] MIKE: Thank you. They use on, and then they had those creatures, um, the, Ysalamiri or

[00:26:35] something like lamari, that, that, that would like, that would create, would negate the force around it.

[00:26:40] And that created a whole new way of dealing with things. So, yeah, I, I remember, I remember stories regarding the absence of the force, uh, where it should be. But not so much what you're talking about.

[00:26:52] JOSH: Yeah. There was another idea that I had subsequent, to this project. , I think after Episode 3 came out that I, I never really intended to make as a fan film. Um, but I had this idea for a trilogy of fan films that was about, It was sort of like The Godfather, it was like a, a family of smugglers that were working under the empire. And they were also sort of like, they had their contacts in the Senate, so they were also like helping the rebels through their senator contacts. But like, you know, one side of the family, they didn't want to get involved in that.

[00:27:23] And it was like, so, so, so, so it was kind of cool. And it also, , had to do with the true nature of the Force because I wasn't entirely satisfied with the Midi-chlorian implications that we got in the prequels. And so it was my attempt to kind of retcon, so not erase or contradict that, but like my, my attempt to kind of

[00:27:45] MIKE: Well we con it that, that's the

[00:27:47] CHRIS: Re reconcile it.

[00:27:48] MIKE: Yeah.

[00:27:49] JOSH: it.

[00:27:49] Reconcile it, yeah.

[00:27:50] MIKE: Well retroactive. What does we con stand for? Retroactively.

[00:27:54] JOSH: continuity. So you're saying, uh, basically. so a red con is like you're saying, No, it always happened this way.

[00:27:59] MIKE: Yeah, exactly. Yeah I was never satisfied with that either. I didn't like the way they boiled it down to a biological, uh...

[00:28:06] JOSH: Yeah. Well, so my my concept was that the whole Midi-chlorian thing was kind of a sign that the Jedi order were becoming very dogmatic and bureaucratic and were kind of losing their way.

[00:28:20] And whatever correlation there was between someone's Midi-chlorian levels and their Force sensitivity was just like, you know, kind of a need to classify and catalog and measure everything. But that there was more to it than just your Midi-chlorian levels. like it wasn't the reason you were Force sensitive. It was a sort of a side effect of how connected you were to the —

[00:28:44] CHRIS: You're not sick because of the fever. The fever is an indicator of what's attacking your body.

[00:28:48] MIKE: I like that.

[00:28:49] JOSH: And not only that though, the story would've also centered around a fugitive that was being hunte, by the Empire. He had this really important information that the Emperor did not want to get out to the wider galaxy. And so, the characters that we follow, not straight up heroes, it's sort of a little grayer than that, because they're mercenaries, but they end up having to rescue this guy and it eventually comes out, the secret that he knows, the thing that he knows is that —

[00:29:22] MIKE: Spoilers.

[00:29:23] CHRIS: Yeah. Thank you. Thank you for that, Mike. Make, make sure people know

[00:29:26] MIKE: Yeah. In case we ever make this, 20 years from now.

[00:29:30] CHRIS: Right, right.

[00:29:31] JOSH: Right. But the secret he has is that he knows that someone's Midi-chlorian levels have nothing to do with whether or not you can be a Jedi, and the Emperor doesn't want the average Joe to think that they have the potential to use the Force and become a Jedi. Like it's in the emperor's interest to perpetuate the falsehood that it's a genetic thing and you either have it or you don't.

[00:29:57] CHRIS: This sounds like it's influenced a little bit by, and I don't remember where you would've been in your X-Files watching, but it sounds a little bit like the, the, what is the group of the the three guys? The, the gunmen?

[00:30:12] JOSH: Oh, The Lone Gunmen.

[00:30:13] CHRIS: The Lone Gunmen? Yeah. It just, it sounds a little bit like that. They've got that information about some source of authority withholding information because they don't want the general population to know and therefore gain that power. So I'm just kind of curious like, what influenced that line of thinking? Because it's so not Star Wars, right? Like it's so subversive in a way that like, Star Wars usually doesn't. I like Star Wars a lot. Obviously I'm a big fan. And the newer stuff runs kind of deep, but like a lot of the Star Wars, you're not gonna find a conspiracy that runs that deep or is necessarily like that sinister, right? So I'm kind of curious as to where that came from for you.

[00:30:53] MIKE: If you even know.

[00:30:55] JOSH: Yeah. Well, so that's interesting because in my mind, it wasn't so much a conspiracy, it was more like, You know, the Empire is the dominant force in the galaxy, right? And they clamp down on free thought, free thinking. And really what it was, was it came out of conversations that I had with my friend Jon, who's also a frequent guest on the podcast about how, like, when he was a kid, he always thought that Force sensitivity and whether or not you could be a Jedi was more akin to like martial arts training, right?

[00:31:28] Like anyone could do it. But you have to train and learn. Some people are maybe quicker to pick it up than others, so they're closer to that mastery. but that at the end of the day, anyone could be a Jedi. Which was an idea that I really liked.

[00:31:44] And I was trying to square that with the version that was presented in the prequel films that no, it's, it's something genetic that you inherit and there's a biological component. So, so, so I think, I realized that that could make a cool story , that in-universe they believe the Midi-chlorian stuff, but that it's actually not true, it's actually wrong.

[00:32:05] And that that would be useful for the Emperor. Because, you know, even like I was watching, the new episode of Andor and they're sentencing, all of these quote unquote criminals, and you can see what the charges are.

[00:32:17] And the charge for one of them was suspected Force sensitivity. Right. So, so this idea that, you wouldn't want the citizens of the galaxy to think that they had any power that they could use against the Emperor, Right?

[00:32:33] MIKE: I would've watched

[00:32:34] that, that, that sounds like a story. I, that sounds like a story. I would've really enjoyed, I would've watched that. That's, that's kind of the direction I wish that the Star Wars universe would go in is kind of that more deep kind of exploration of some of the core concepts.

[00:32:49] Um, but while still it in a way that makes sense.

[00:32:53] JOSH: Yeah, no, and I feel like that, I mean, obviously with the amount of output that, we've been getting. You know, some is more successful than others, but broadly speaking, I do think that's what new Star Wars is trying to do. I think it is moving in that direction, certainly. Um, so, did we talk about where we think that that desire to make a fan film, like where it comes from, what sort of the motivation is, or did we kind of cover

[00:33:18] MIKE: The motivation behind it? Not, not really. I mean, we, we talked about our reaction to it, how excited we were, but I mean, I think o obviously the motivation, and I think it's different for each person, but you obviously are, you've always struck me as the creator type. So like you really wanted to create something and you wanted to create something that you were a fan of, and I wanted to create something too, but I just, I didn't have that sort of... putting all the pieces together, Skill or, or the script writing skill that I think you had.

[00:33:50] But I could bring something else to the table, you know? So, so for me, the motivation was how can I really, how can I make this project, which is already good, better for something that I already love, Star Wars, wanna be a part of, A really close friend of mine has this idea I think I could contribute. So that was really my motivation was, was to, and I'm sure there was a little bit of ego in there, you know, I mean, everybody wanted to see themselves or the lightsaber.

[00:34:16] I mean, that, that was just, we were 16, 17. Chris, you said it before, like Yeah, I want a lightsaber.

[00:34:22] CHRIS: That one of the, that was one of the things I actually also remember about the film was like we had a short, there was a, a short like session, uh, in your room, Josh, in front of your computer where you were asking everybody what color you lightsabers be. you went through, like, you went through shade by shade.

[00:34:39] Darker, lighter, purple, yellow.

[00:34:41] Like I remember that was one of the things that I remember I loved most about Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight, was that in the multiplayer mode you could pick your color of lightsaber.

[00:34:50] MIKE: Yep.

[00:34:50] CHRIS: The things you're saying make total sense to me, Mike. Cause I, I agree. I know. Part of it.

[00:34:55] for me, the biggest part of it was probably like Sam Rockwell from Galaxy Quest. Like,

[00:35:00] I'm just jazzed to be here, man. I'm just jazzed to get the show like that was,

[00:35:04] but

[00:35:05] MIKE: have a last name? Chris?

[00:35:06] CHRIS: I do . Do I? Do I?

[00:35:09] It's but it was

[00:35:11] MIKE: Another severely underrated

[00:35:13] CHRIS: Oh. Oh. So, and if you haven't yet, go on Amazon Prime. There's a, a cool little

[00:35:17] documentary

[00:35:18] man about it.

[00:35:19] So Good.

[00:35:19] MIKE: seen it yet, but I know about it. I

[00:35:21] wanna watch

[00:35:21] CHRIS: de it's delightful. It's

[00:35:22] so

[00:35:22] lovely.

[00:35:23] MIKE: wanna re-watch the movie.

[00:35:24] CHRIS: Yeah,

[00:35:25] JOSH: I'm gonna tell you something that's gonna break your heart. They were going to make a Galaxy Quest series for Amazon, and then Alan Rickman died. And there wasn't, and there wasn't really a way to do it without that character. And you certainly wouldn't

[00:35:37] MIKE: Hmm.

[00:35:38] JOSH: that character

[00:35:38] CHRIS: I'm glad they didn't do it without

[00:35:40] MIKE: Yeah,

[00:35:41] CHRIS: In an age where that would be all too common. I'm

[00:35:43] glad they didn't do that.

[00:35:45] MIKE: M Or

[00:35:46] CHRIS: Right., he has such a way, he had such a way of delivering things, right? Like that moment when he goes, What am I doing here? And everybody goes, There he goes. And he, I played Richard, I third, that whole thing. Like, I, I just, just breaks. It does, it breaks my

[00:36:03] JOSH: My favorite, my favorite, line reading of his from that movie is "by Grabthor's Hammer.... what are savings."

[00:36:12] MIKE: Yeah.

[00:36:15] JOSH: But you know what's interesting? Like there is, you know, actually some overlap, between the kind of animating spirit, the love of Star Trek and probably Star Wars, but just like sci-fi in general, that is sort of at the heart of a movie like Galaxy Quest that I think is, at the end of the day, the same animating spirit that makes somebody wanna make a Star Wars fan film.

[00:36:40] Like,

[00:36:40] MIKE: Absolutely.

[00:36:41] CHRIS: Yeah.

[00:36:42] MIKE: You can tell that movie's made by fans, you know, And, and, and there are some projects that you can tell in, in science fiction. Let, let, let's stick to Star Wars here, you know, that are, you can tell some of it has love in it and some don't, and those are the ones that don't work. You know, I think there's still, and when I say they, I'm referring to Disney and all of the content that's being put out now.

[00:37:02] And some of it works and some of it doesn't. And, you know, I think that they're entitled to grow and learn and figure out what works and what doesn't. But you can absolutely see the love in some of it, uh, just from the references, the way it's made, the script. And you can tell that some are just. You know, product of corporate constant content

[00:37:21] CHRIS: Right, and this is like that

[00:37:23] idea of.

[00:37:24] Like the, the love that you have for a thing. You know, I I, it's funny cuz um, I'm in the process right now designing a board game with my friend Chad. And as we were sort of talking about what we wanted out of the process, it was, it'll, we'd love this hobby. It would just be cool to have our name on a, on a game box more than anything else.

[00:37:40] We're not looking to just become game designers. And it's sort of the same thing here. So like , I don't get me wrong, there was definitely like a puppy dog, again, embarrassing, but puppy dog aspect to of just jazz, to be on the show. Um, that, that I had for this film, but also your, something that I hadn't really experienced and I only started like Mike, you were saying earlier that we were in drama club at the time, um, but I had only recently started experiencing was the kind of very quick bonding you do when you're on a production bond with other people so quickly.

[00:38:13] And, and it's so powerful. It's such a powerful feeling of everybody pulling towards the same goal and, and like, so here you are. Compounding that with my closest friends getting together and doing that thing, right? So like that only makes it better. And so to be a part of that is, is you get to be, you, you don't only get to be a part of something special with people you care about, but in the case of Star Wars, like you mentioned, that love, you know, you get to be a part of, I get to be a part of this universe that I love so much.

[00:38:45] So even if it's a small part, like I know, um, the guy who plays the, one of the X-Wing pilots in the second season, the Mandalorian, uh, Paul Paul son Young, I believe, um, he was on um, Kim's convenience. He's brilliant, like older Asian guy, full beard, big Star Wars fan.

[00:39:03] And he, yeah, he used to dress up in these, he would do cosplay.

[00:39:07] And so he got invited on to set to just like, like, Hey, do you wanna be a part of this? And he's like, Oh my God, do I right? He was so excited to be a part of it. So, He does it. And so he gets to be part of the Star Wars universe. Like, did he need that work? No. Is that character going to ever get bigger? No.

[00:39:23] But like he gets to be an X-Wing pilot in No, I see you shrugging Mike. And

[00:39:27] it's like, ooh, ooh. I would love to see him come back because I adore him as an actor. But like, but yeah, like, you know, you get to, you get to be a, a part of it permanently and there's something really special in being part of something you love.

[00:39:40] So for me, that's, I think where part of that wanting to be part of the fandom comes from.

[00:39:45] MIKE: In, the Star Wars universe all the time, I mean so much, almost all, not almost all, but so much of the extended universe comes from obscure characters

[00:39:56] that were, were complete throwaways.

[00:39:58] You know this quintessential example is probably Wedge,

[00:40:01] like Wedge, Wedge, Wedge has how many seconds of footage in, in episode two and three and, or I'm sorry, five and six and now, you know, and then the Rogue Squadron series was pretty much entirely dedicated to him. Uh, he shows up in, uh, in Episode 9.

[00:40:18] And you know that that happens all the time. Boba Fett, I mean, you can go on forever. Obscure characters that have seconds of footage that ended up spawning entirely news stories.

[00:40:28] JOSH: yeah. Which I think is actually, you know, now that you're mentioning it, one of the reasons why fan films I think were so abundant and so, numerous and why so many people wanted to make it because the way Star Wars worked, the fact that it seemed like such a lived in universe and even that one alien in the background, or that one pilot, or that one shot that was only there for, you know, not even a minute of screen time or only a few seconds,

[00:40:52] CHRIS: Jack,

[00:40:53] JOSH: That

[00:40:53] CHRIS: Perkins,

[00:40:54] MIKE: Kins.

[00:40:55] JOSH: um, you got the sense that they all had a story, and I think that sort of subconscious sense that you get from watching the original Star Wars, it's in the other, films as well. But I, I think one of the specific innovations of the original Star Wars was because it didn't linger and focus on so much of the fantastic things in it.

[00:41:16] Like just sort of, it, it kept, moving ahead and treating all this fantastic stuff as if it was normal. And that created a verisimilitude, a sense that everyone in that cantina had a story that all of those, that each of those of those pilots had a story. And I think that sense, you know, leads you to be like, Oh, well then, there's, room for me to play.

[00:41:35] Like my story can be in there. Like, I can like fill in those gaps. Right,

[00:41:40] MIKE: And you can be as liberal as you want with it. You can be as creative as you want with it. That's, that's what's so fantastic about.

[00:41:45] JOSH: Right. So, you know what I think we have to do, um, now that we're talking about this, I think we have to make a movie about a bunch of friends coming of age trying to make and failing to make a Star Wars fan film. I think that's what I'm getting out of this.

[00:41:59] MIKE: That'd be a fun documentary. Yep. I'm in.

[00:42:01] CHRIS: I

[00:42:02] think there's, I think there's

[00:42:03] MIKE: Oh,

[00:42:05] CHRIS: think, I think there's, I think there's space for that. I think there's absolutely space for that. Following in the footsteps of someone like Kevin Smith.

[00:42:13] MIKE: And it could be called Fateless.

[00:42:15] CHRIS: That's

[00:42:15] JOSH: Yeah,

[00:42:16] CHRIS: or

[00:42:16] or

[00:42:17] JOSH: it,

[00:42:17] CHRIS: faded.

[00:42:18] JOSH: Ill-fated. It. There we go. Uh,

[00:42:19] MIKE: Better. That's

[00:42:20] better. Well

[00:42:20] faded.

[00:42:21] JOSH: there, so we both got there. Yeah. Yeah. And that, um, is also gonna for sure be the title of this episode of the podcast.

[00:42:29] um, So I don't want to read the entire script, but I thought it might be fun to do a reading of a scene from the script to kind of give life to at least a part of this, of this ill-fated fan film project.

[00:42:45] CHRIS: You keep saying that like there were casualties,

[00:42:48] MIKE: Yeah.

[00:42:49] JOSH: Yeah. Well, well, you know,

[00:42:52] CHRIS: come on. Besides, Come on now. Besides dignity.

[00:42:55] JOSH: Right, exactly. Besides my dignity. And that's a real, that's a real casualty. Um, so, I sent you both the sides.

[00:43:02] MIKE: it.

[00:43:04] JOSH: should I explain what the movie was about?

[00:43:07] CHRIS: Yeah,

[00:43:07] MIKE: into the scene, I think would be helpful. Yeah.

[00:43:09] CHRIS: I agree.

[00:43:11] JOSH: Yeah, so basically, this story was set during the, purge of the Jedi and the Emperor's takeover of the galaxy. And keep in mind this was written before Episode 2 and 3, so we didn't actually see how that all went down. But we know from Star Wars that that happened somewhere between episode one and episode, four Star Wars.

[00:43:31] So, this was sort of happening right at that moment where, the shadow is falling across the galaxy and the Jedi are disbanded and, the story features these two Jedi a master and his Padawan apprentice, and they're, they're both on the run from the Empire and trying to protect as many planets and other Jedi as, they can from succumbing to Imperial rule while simultaneously are being chased, or pursued, by a Sith with a vendetta against one or both of them, who's also being hunted by the Empire.

[00:44:01] But he doesn't care because his revenge is the only thing he cares about. So, um, here's a scene from Fateful. Do you guys have it in front?

[00:44:11] MIKE: Uh, I do. And you're, you're narrating as well as, uh,

[00:44:15] JOSH: Yes, Yes. So I'm gonna read, the stage directions. so this is a scene between the Jedi Master Kiru Vor-Laan, and yes, that's a Babylon 5 reference.

[00:44:24] And and his apprentice Del-Von Quell. And, yeah, let's go ahead and get started.

[00:44:32] NARRATOR: Exterior, Sevarice Major. Alleyway, day. Kiru is working with a lightsaber. He has removed the bottom section to reveal a small compartment. He places a data crystal inside and reattaches the bottom of the hill as Del-Von returns. I

[00:44:50] DEL-VON QUELL: finalized the arrangements. They'll be waiting for us.

[00:44:54] KIRU VOR-LAAN: Were you noticed?

[00:44:55] DEL-VON QUELL: I, I don't think so.

[00:44:57] KIRU VOR-LAAN: I've sent a signal to the others. They will be waiting for us at the rendezvous.

[00:45:03] NARRATOR: Del-Von frowns.

[00:45:05] KIRU VOR-LAAN: Your mind is troubled. What is it?

[00:45:08] DEL-VON QUELL: Besides being hunted by the entire Imperial War machine you mean?

[00:45:13] KIRU VOR-LAAN: Mm. Your sarcasm betrays you. Something more.

[00:45:18] NARRATOR: Del-Von nods.

[00:45:19] DEL-VON QUELL: I was overcome with a sense of dread. It was different than what I've experienced recently.

[00:45:26] It felt like a, like a powerful evil was lurking. Biding its time.

[00:45:33] KIRU VOR-LAAN: I felt it as well.

[00:45:37] SIRE JURYA: It's him, isn't it?

[00:45:38] KIRU VOR-LAAN: Who?

[00:45:39] DEL-VON QUELL: Xar Neska. He's here. On Sevarice.

[00:45:42] KIRU VOR-LAAN: Your instincts serve you well, Xar Neska is here. He was watching you in the bar. You knew. I didn't want to risk arousing a suspicion by warning you, you are not adept at hiding your feelings.

[00:45:53] DEL-VON QUELL: But, but the empire. Is hunting him too.

[00:45:56] Anyone who's connected to the Force. Why would he still bother with us?

[00:46:00] KIRU VOR-LAAN: Because he is consumed by his need for revenge, Del-Von. It's become his sole reason for living. All he has left is his anger, his hate,

[00:46:09] DEL-VON QUELL: But that was years ago. I don't understand how he could allow his hate to consume him so completely.

[00:46:15] KIRU VOR-LAAN: Hmm. I hope you never do understand. All sentient life forms require a sense of purpose to their lives. If one does not have a purpose, it will create one. Neska cannot let go of his hate because it has become his only purpose. Killing me to even the death of his master has become his sole reason to live.

[00:46:37] DEL-VON QUELL: I suppose. But I, I can't shake the sense that his hatred for you runs deeper. I, It doesn't make sense to me.

[00:46:48] KIRU VOR-LAAN: The universe is not obligated to make sense to you, my young apprentice.

[00:46:54] DEL-VON QUELL: Well, what do we do?

[00:46:58] KIRU VOR-LAAN: We will do nothing. When the time comes to deal with him, I will do so alone.

[00:47:03] DEL-VON QUELL: I won't leave your side. I will face him with you.

[00:47:05] KIRU VOR-LAAN: I am the one he holds responsible for his master's death. His quarrel is with me. It is my burden alone.

[00:47:12] DEL-VON QUELL: No, it's not. I was there at your side.

[00:47:14] KIRU VOR-LAAN: Del-Von, you will do as I say!

[00:47:15] DEL-VON QUELL: You can't expect me to just--

[00:47:17] NARRATOR: Del-Von is interrupted by the chirping of the holo-transmitter. He activates it and the hologram of Marl Jurya appears.

[00:47:24] KIRU VOR-LAAN: Sire Jurya.

[00:47:25] SIRE JURYA: Our information seems to have been incorrect. An imperial battle group has just entered orbit around the planet.

[00:47:29] They didn't appear on our scopes until they were right on top of us. They've already began landing. Their troops.

[00:47:35] KIRU VOR-LAAN: We're on our way.

[00:47:37] SIRE JURYA: No, no, it's... it's too late. Get yourself away from here as soon as you can.

[00:47:43] NARRATOR: A shadow falls over Kiru and Del-Von. They look up to see the silhouette of an Imperial Star Destroyer matted against the sun.

[00:47:49] The sound of blaster fire draws Jurya's attention on the hologram. He looks away as the transmission is cut off in a whir of static. Del-Von looks to Kiru.

[00:47:58] DEL-VON QUELL: What now?

[00:47:59] KIRU VOR-LAAN: Go find Aldiss.

[00:48:01] DEL-VON QUELL: What about you?

[00:48:02] KIRU VOR-LAAN: I'm going to see what the situation is at the capital building. Perhaps some of the ruling council can still be saved.

[00:48:07] DEL-VON QUELL: Master, I don't think that's wives. Neska is out there.

[00:48:10] KIRU VOR-LAAN: No more questions do, as I say!

[00:48:12] NARRATOR: Del-Von is taken aback.

[00:48:13] DEL-VON QUELL: You've never spoken to me like that. There's something else going on. You're not telling me everything.

[00:48:18] KIRU VOR-LAAN: Del-Von Quell. Do you trust me?

[00:48:21] DEL-VON QUELL: With my life.

[00:48:22] NARRATOR: Master Kiru takes out the lightsaber he had earlier and hands it to Del-Von.

[00:48:27] Del-Von examines the weapon.

[00:48:29] DEL-VON QUELL: This is not your lightsaber.

[00:48:30] KIRU VOR-LAAN: No, I have carried this with me for many years. I'm now entrusting it to you. You may find you need it someday in the future.

[00:48:39] NARRATOR: Del-Von opens his mouth to say something, but no words come out.

[00:48:42] KIRU VOR-LAAN: Go quickly. Time is short.

[00:48:45] NARRATOR: Del-Von hesitates. Kiru puts his arm on the young Padawan's shoulder.

[00:48:49] KIRU VOR-LAAN: Del-Von Quell. You have a destiny to fulfill. As do I.

[00:48:55] DEL-VON QUELL: May the Force be with you.

[00:48:56] NARRATOR: Kiru shoots Del-Von a final grin before he leaves. Del-Von looks after his master for a moment, then Kiru his jaw and starts down a path in the direction.

[00:49:07] And scene.

[00:49:08] CHRIS: Still got it!

[00:49:09] MIKE: I

[00:49:09] JOSH: good.

[00:49:10] MIKE: I got chills.

[00:49:12] JOSH: That was pretty good.

[00:49:13] CHRIS: Also, I can't hear, I'm sorry, I can't hear girds jaw without hearing girds loins. I just couldn't do it. Like, as soon as I read girds, I was like, His loins?

[00:49:22] No, it's, it's funny because I'm so, it's a, it's been a minute since I've done a, a table read, but I'm so, uh, like during the, during the beginning of the pandemic, I was still running my theater company and so we were doing some readings, uh, via Zoom.

[00:49:36] So that instinct of, Okay, speak a little bit faster because there's a little bit of lag. Make sure that you don't, you know, wait for certain stage directions that don't necessarily need to be. So it was just funny that, that all that all kicked in and I was like, Nope, nope. This is what we didn't wanna do was stumble.

[00:49:49] MIKE: You can't, you can't overcome training.

[00:49:52] That's, Yep. There's

[00:49:55] JOSH: can't overcome training. That's

[00:49:57] MIKE: Yeah,

[00:49:58] CHRIS: Right.

[00:50:00] Too

[00:50:00] JOSH: yeah, that was, I mean, that was pretty good. I kind of wanna, I kind of wanna make this, you know, the funny thing is that it would be so totally doable now. Like for, so, for so many . Reasons, but, um, so we never finished this. Um, why do you think that is?

[00:50:14] MIKE: Life.

[00:50:15] CHRIS: Yeah.

[00:50:16] MIKE: Life got in the way.

[00:50:17] You know, I mean, remember we're in high school. That's kind of what we were doing. Um, you know, I think all of us had a lot of projects back then that we ended up never completing much to our, uh, dissatisfaction.

[00:50:30] Um, but you know what, Yeah, you raise a good point. Now we're adults with all of those resources that adults have.

[00:50:38] And, uh, yeah, it's, uh, definitely worth an exploration. I would, this honestly made me want to do another episode of reading the whole script. Uh, to be honest with you. That would be a lot of fun.

[00:50:49] CHRIS: A table, yeah, a table read of the script. And also, yeah, I mean, you're right, Mike. And the other thing too is that, like, Josh, you, you wrote this to be something you could film at that age with that technology. So like it's totally doable. It's totally doable. Because unlike a lot of other scripts, it's like, yeah, there were too many special effects or whatever written into this.

[00:51:06] Like no, this was, this was written to be filmed at that time in that place with those resources. you know, technology's only gotten better. Resources have expanded, like, but it's, it's interesting, right? Like I, Mike, you're, you're absolutely right. It's, I mean, school, but also like it's such a big job.

[00:51:25] It's so much bigger than I ever thought it could be. I thought it was, Well, Mike and Max are doing the choreography and Josh is doing the writing and he is gonna film it. And all I have, like from my particular perspective, all I have to do is be where I'm told and say the things I'm told to say. Right.

[00:51:41] So especially as an actor and sometimes as somebody that you might bounce a script idea off of, or I had feedback, whether you, whether it was solicited or not , um, you know, that was, that was a very low lift for me personally. So I had no idea how much goes into making a film, you know, Um, even a, even a short film now that I have experience doing that sort of thing.

[00:52:04] Well, being an actor for a short film, um, you know, it's, it's, there's so much more that goes into it. It was, it was go, it was always gonna be a heavy lift. I think that's the bottom line. It was always gonna be a heavy lift. And um, you know, even though you had more people there to support you in more than just.

[00:52:24] Fandom and not just like nice words, right? You had, you had choreographers, Mike and, and Mike and Max who were like creative and taking the initiative and, and doing their own thing too. So like it wasn't all stuff you had to micromanage. There was all the other stuff you still did have to micromanage. So, um, yeah, I mean, I think there's a multitude of reasons that film didn't, didn't get, get made.

[00:52:47] JOSH: Completely. So, and from my perspective on it, I think it's a combination of what both of you said. I mean, obviously, 2002, the next, I mean, that year, we all went our separate ways to college. Um, had we stayed in the same physical location over the years, who knows what, may have happened.

[00:53:07] I certainly, you know, went off to make a bunch of short films when I was in college and, you know, Yes. I think, life getting in the way. Our reach, exceeding our grasp in ways that I don't think we were even aware of because we were so young. Um, and, you know, making a movie is really hard and even thinking we knew how hard it was going to be, it took me years of making films to truly get a handle on it, like how hard it is.

[00:53:34] Like there's a cliche that like the only way to learn how to make a film is to make a film.

[00:53:39] MIKE: mm

[00:53:40] JOSH: that's,

[00:53:41] MIKE: good at something until you fail at it. I mean, that's honestly,

[00:53:44] CHRIS: Right?

[00:53:45] MIKE: you know,

[00:53:45] now I'm a now I'm a philosophizer, but failing makes you better. You know that that's how, that's how you learn how to do it, right.

[00:53:52] CHRIS: Yeah.

[00:53:53] MIKE: by, failing forward.

[00:53:54] CHRIS: No, you're absolutely right. And it's funny because, so I, I've been looking forward to sharing this story with you, Mike, because I know that you'll appreciate it and , I know that you haven't heard it. Um, but the other aspect of it too was that like, while we really wanted to do this and we're really looking forward to it, and I, I speak for myself specifically here, is that when I was doing in drama club, it was a fun thing.

[00:54:14] It wasn't a thing I took seriously, right? So like, if it took a million years to get a take, I didn't think it was a big deal. So like, time management was a thing too. And the reason I bring this up is because, you know, that's another thing that has come with age for me is, is getting better as, as an actor.

[00:54:29] So, uh, when I was a junior in college, I did a play called Tracers. I was in a play called Tracers and it was the first show that I ever worked on that I realized it could be some more. Cause it's about soldiers in Vietnam. And we had vets in the audience. Um, and, and it meant a lot to us that we knew they were gonna be there.

[00:54:45] We had to get this right. And um, so it was the first show that I did that, that really taught me that this was going to be. Work and not just fun. And the reason I bring that up now that I think it's funny is because Diego came and saw that show at Geneseo and after the show, it was always very funny to me because he came up to me, he's like, Man, that was so good.

[00:55:06] I'm like, Thanks that that means a lot to me. And he's like, No, really? I was just, you were so good. I'm like, Man, that that, that's so generous of, He was like, Cuz the last time I saw you were in high school and you were awful. I'm like, Uh oh. He's like, No. Like you were really bad, but like, this was really good and

[00:55:23] MIKE: Leave it. Leave it to Diego to, to be brutally honest with

[00:55:26] CHRIS: it was, It was awesome. Like, you could tell, because Diego was always so thoughtful and so considerate, you could tell that the show had so impacted him that he couldn't stop saying, Man, you were so bad at this, but you've gotten so much better. I'm blown away. So I always, that always stuck with me. It was very funny. But it was that same notion that like, you know, when we were younger, like we had a lot of fun with it, but the result was too that like we wasted a lot of time having fun with it.

[00:55:52] MIKE: Sure that that's a good tie in to what I just said. Yeah,

[00:55:55] JOSH: so what you're telling me is if we made this, you would've sucked in it.

[00:56:00] CHRIS: oh, oh, a hundred like you talked

[00:56:02] about over you, you talked about over-writing I would've been over-acting, like, so I don't know if you're gonna put it up or not, but before, before we recorded this, , Josh shared some screen tests with us and one of them is a duel that I partake in with Josh, and I'm just watching it going, Yeah, no, keep doing your thing, Chris.

[00:56:23] That's nice work. So, so a hundred percent. I would've over-acted the hell out of that part. Um, I would've given it my best Qui-Gon impression because I would think that's the only way to do it. So it would've been a bad impression, but also you would've been able to tell it was me doing a bad impression of Liam Neeson.

[00:56:40] So, uh, so yes, I would, I, I'm confident I would be much better at it now. I would've sucked

[00:56:46] JOSH: I . Well, so not to just, totally pile on you, but I wanna share some of the, the shitting upon,

[00:56:53] CHRIS: No, by all means,

[00:56:54] JOSH: This movie would've looked like shit. because. I didn't yet have a grasp of, you know, how to shoot, how to compose a shot, where to put the camera. Like, like it would've been it would not have been good it would not have been a good movie.

[00:57:08] MIKE: but it would've

[00:57:09] been, it

[00:57:10] JOSH: what

[00:57:10] MIKE: pile of.

[00:57:11] JOSH: Well said, actually, maybe that's in the running for the title of this episode, Our pile of shit, um, .

[00:57:19] CHRIS: brilliant. I love it. Ship it. Start making the merchandise.

[00:57:22] JOSH: But, yeah, you know, this whole conversation, I, I really wanna do something with this. Or at least something that, that, that takes advantage of that work or... or honors the work that we did back then because,

[00:57:38] MIKE: I can see you thinking, I can see it in your pixelated eyes. Yeah.

[00:57:40] CHRIS: Oh, I, I gotta tell you, I haven't gotten to, I, I haven't gotten to act in a while and, uh, and I've been jonesing, so like, now's the time to take advantage of that particular bug.

[00:57:48] JOSH: Well, but do we wanna make, But but do we wanna make this like my thing about this is that while I think it's pretty good for what it is. Like it's not the story that I would want to tell now, or maybe

[00:58:01] CHRIS: That's, but that's, no, that's, that's why we have to make it, I think we have to make it as it is and we have to do so earnestly, like, it's gonna be like, not exactly the story that you necessarily wanna tell. You know, it's a story that you, you did and that we were all gonna tell together, and we can tell that story.

[00:58:19] And if there are more stories, great. But I, I personally think that this is a story that like, no, we tell it, we tell it earnestly. We tell it as well as we can. And there's something kind of, I think, and I could be wrong, maybe I am overestimating the charm of the three people sitting in on this podcast, but I think it will be endearing.

[00:58:38] MIKE: I can only agree. Yeah. I, I'm in for what, whatever, whatever shape, it would be fun. I think that, honestly, that's the bottom line. This is taking me back to, you know, 2001, 2002. We, uh, you know, overall, you said it earlier, Chris. This was just fun and like, I, I was just a thrill to be a part of it. You know, Chris, you said that.

[00:58:57] And I'm of the same sentiment, and honestly, I'm of, I'm of the same sentiment now in, in whatever shape it takes, you know, if it evolves into something else, cool. It, it's just the, it's just a fun pro. It combines, you know, friendship that we have with a love for Star Wars and it's, it's a perfect synergy of, of an activity if, if you ask me.

[00:59:17] And I feel like we could use more of that in this day and age.

[00:59:19] JOSH: Abso absolutely

[00:59:20] CHRIS: See, that's another thing, Mike, that I'm gonna absolutely, I gotta piggyback on because I agree wholeheartedly is that I, I do think that you could write a better script now, Josh. I think you could tell a better story now, but

[00:59:31] like, like you said, we don't have, we no longer have that darth of materials that we used to.

[00:59:37] Right. We have all sorts of stories out there. We have comic books, we have movies, we have TV shows, Like we have all those things. And I'm not saying that we can't necessarily contribute something that is also like really, really good to that cannon, but like there's something that. That is inherently sort of childish in the best way about revisiting this script 20 years later and just doing it because we love it and embracing it.

[01:00:03] Flaws and all because that's okay.

[01:00:06] MIKE: Well said.

[01:00:07] JOSH: Very well said.

[01:00:08] MIKE: Labor of love.

[01:00:11] JOSH: You guys are bringing me around on this. The wheels are turning. I'm gonna figure out how we can get this done, how to make this happen with the caveat that I am also going to write a version of that other story that I told you about that that is the way I would write something now.

[01:00:25] And then we will also make that.

[01:00:27] CHRIS: You have to, Mike

[01:00:28] MIKE: Well,

[01:00:29] CHRIS: he wants to read it. You have to do it.

[01:00:31] MIKE: Yeah. Yeah. I think that's the first step I think is reading this whole script. Um, Or, or maybe not. I don't know. It's up to you. But also one, one more caveat that, that we're all dads with young children. And that's, and you know, Josh, you mentioned before how much time that eats up.

[01:00:47] But either way, I, I'm, I'm, I just like, I have a lot more free time on my hands now since, since my, you know, status has changed somewhat recently. So

[01:00:56] JOSH: well, I'll have to be strategic about, or we'll all have to be strategic about how we, how we plan our vacations.

[01:01:04] CHRIS: Yeah.

[01:01:05] JOSH: Speaking of those screen tests, you know, I do a lot of promotion for the podcast on social media, particularly on Instagram and Twitter.

[01:01:14] Um, and should I upload that lightsaber test?

[01:01:18] CHRIS: God, I think

[01:01:19] JOSH: test?

[01:01:19] CHRIS: to. I think

[01:01:20] you have

[01:01:21] to. You

[01:01:22] MIKE: You gotta, you gotta find this stuff. The other stuff though, like I,

[01:01:25] I, I really wanna find me and Max and I really wanna find the, the footage of me with that double-bladed lightsaber. I think that

[01:01:32] JOSH: No, it's good. I

[01:01:33] told you,

[01:01:34] I

[01:01:34] MIKE: just you, you, you can, Yeah, I know you, you can split, you can, I think you can see, it's funny, you can see the learning happening as, as you're watching stuff like that, and that's just really groovy to me,

[01:01:46] JOSH: No, totally.

[01:01:47] MIKE: that.

[01:01:48] JOSH: thing is like, I keep thinking, um, I keep thinking of, I don't know if you guys are aware or if you remember, but, uh, do you remember, um, Star Wars kid?

[01:01:56] MIKE: Vaguely.

[01:01:57] JOSH: Was There? there, there, was a viral video like way back when, like, I think even before the age of YouTube, you know, there was a kid, he was a chubby kid in like his AV class.

[01:02:08] And when he thought no one was looking, he like had a toy lightsaber and he just filmed himself like going completely nuts with it. And the tape got out and he was mocked relentlessly for years and years. So much so, to such a degree that, that it actually became a subplot on the first or second season of Arrested Development where the same thing happened to George Michael and like they reenacted the video.

[01:02:32] Like you could tell that that's what they were referencing because the video looked exactly the same. And um, you know, but that, that kid, he became known as Star Wars kid. Um, you know, that mockery, that relentless mockery that was, you know, of a magnitude that was brand new thanks to the internet.

[01:02:51] Um, kind of ruined his life. Like I think he's okay now, but like it took years and years for, him to recover from that. And whenever I watch that first clip of me, the very rudimentary one where like I was just like, Oh, I think there's a way I can, I can Photoshop on a video and I, I just, I did it, you know, really quickly and I'm just sort of blindly swinging at something that isn't there and there's no blade.

[01:03:15] And I look kind of silly. Whenever I see that, I think of Star Wars kid

[01:03:20] and you know, I think maybe while there's some hesitation on my part of just like, you know, personal embarrassment, I think maybe I owe it to Star Wars kid to put this out there

[01:03:33] CHRIS: I think,

[01:03:33] JOSH: that it's okay.

[01:03:34] CHRIS: I think you should do the thing you want to do. I can say that from having, having been bullied myself, one of the sort of adaptations that I came up with was wearing my feelings and stuff like that on my sleeve so that if I was mocked for the thing, I'm. I know everybody knows I wear it on my sleeve, so what do I care?

[01:03:54] You know, that was something that was some way that I had sort of adapted and it's, and it's something that I do now, not to prevent bullying now, but because like, it took me a little while to realize how silly acting is from the standpoint of like, I take it seriously, it was my job for years, but like, you're pretending to be somebody you're not in a place that doesn't exist in front of people that you're pretending aren't there.

[01:04:17] Like, what element of that isn't silly? Right. So I think I've, I've hit personally, I've hit a point where like if a thing is something I find embarrassing, I name it. And that, that sort of gets me to a point where I'm like, Yeah, I don't care. And I've never been internet famous, so maybe, maybe my mind changes that for whatever reason, this is the thing people decide to troll me on.

[01:04:39] But, but for me personally, it's. If I can own it and I can, if I can name it, then it doesn't, it doesn't bother me. So that's why I'm like, these are for me, These are, I can feel it even as I say it that I'm like, No, these are embarrassing things. I have made a career of being vulnerable in front of other people, so it doesn't bother me the way it used to.

[01:04:56] JOSH: Interesting. Yeah. So what's the verdict? Should I put it up?

[01:05:01] MIKE: I I'm a yay.

[01:05:02] CHRIS: I'm a ye too, but this is your decision, man. You, you make the decision and if, if you decide you wanna do it, great. If not, it's your podcast. So Mike and I get out voted like, Do you know you could honestly, you could even

[01:05:14] just, yeah, you could even just show my choreography and be like, this is what we were working on and I'm fine with it cuz it's

[01:05:22] goofy as hell. Especially once we compare it to Mike and Max's and people would be like, Okay, now that's, now that's funny cuz Mike and Max have something, whereas I'm like swinging this fucking thing around. Like it means something. It's,

[01:05:35] yeah.

[01:05:36] MIKE: I would just

[01:05:37] love to see it again. You, you, you have my full permission to put my stuff up if you find it. Um, I, I, would love to see that again.

[01:05:44] JOSH: think I'm gonna do it guys.

[01:05:46] MIKE: No shame, man.

[01:05:48] CHRIS: Seriously,

[01:05:49] MIKE: None. Yeah.

[01:05:50] CHRIS: shame,

[01:05:51] MIKE: What, when I, I watched it today as you sent, you know, you sent out the, the, the, the revision and that video up like an hour or so before we met and uh, yeah. I was watching it and just like the first thoughts into my head were nowhere near. Oh my God, this is embarrassing. Uh, and obviously, you know, I have a bias.

[01:06:07] I I know us. I was part of this. I know you guys, I remember that stuff, but nevertheless, it, it, I just looked at it in my heart melted, to be honest. Uh, just remembering all the, all the fun, good times we had doing this stuff

[01:06:22] and how

[01:06:22] CHRIS: It's.

[01:06:23] MIKE: I'd love, I'd love to do it.

[01:06:24] CHRIS: Yeah, no, I'm, I'm right there with you. It's very like end of Last Jedi, right? Where all the kids are reenacting what they think happened with the, with Luke and the Resistance and stuff at the end of the movie? It's that, but we were a little older. That's all.

[01:06:40] JOSH: I love that. And on that note, I want to thank both of you guys from the bottom of my heart. Not just for being willing to talk about this now, but for, coming together 20 years ago and trying to make this film happen. Um, that was a really special time and I know that, you know, over the years, there have been long gaps where we haven't been in touch, but, um, those were really special.

[01:07:02] There was a special time and it's always been a part of me and will, and will continue to be. So thank you both.

[01:07:07] MIKE: My pleasure. Anytime. Uh, one, one last note is I, I, uh, I think I got you another subscriber today as I was picking up my son from school. Uh, another,

[01:07:16] another parent. Yep, another parent.

[01:07:18] So,

[01:07:19] CHRIS: a, that is

[01:07:19] MIKE: hopefully you, hopefully you'll see that pop up soon cuz

[01:07:22] she was interested. We got, we got to talking about Halloween and costumes, which led us to Mandalorian, which led us to this.

[01:07:28] So,

[01:07:29] CHRIS: that's

[01:07:29] JOSH: cool.

[01:07:30] CHRIS: Well done.

[01:07:31] JOSH: Thank you. I appreciate that. Um, If you like what you heard, please visit trashcompod.com where transcripts are available of this episode and all our other episodes. As I mentioned at the top, this is the last episode of our first regular season. Though we should have one or two more bonus episodes coming your way. If you want to know when we announce season two and what you can expect from us in 2023, please follow us on social media.

[01:07:54] We are trashcompod on Instagram and trashcompod1 on Twitter, or join our mailing list by visiting trashcompod.com and entering your email in the form that pops up at the bottom of the page. Thank you for coming with us on this journey that we started nearly a year ago, and we hope you'll join us next season.

[01:08:13] May the Force be with you, and let's fight these bastards for real.