It's easy to be underwhelmed by fan projects these days because the bar is so high already, but every once in a while someone comes along and pushes that bar up a few rungs. Paul Johnson has done that with "TIE Fighter," an impeccably-animated short film that centers on the titular starfighters (and their pilots) in an epic dogfight on the scale of the Battle of Endor. Though Johnson has released snippets of it over the last four years(!), this is the first time we've been able to see the whole thing. All of it, from the music to the editing to the swirling clouds of missile smoke, evokes classic 80s anime -- and yet it's still all unmistakably Star Wars.
I don't have any jokes or jabs or anything cynical at all to say about this. It's genuinely impressive and obviously done by someone with real passion and true talent. All I want now is about 83 more minutes of this for a full feature film.
But for now, at least we have the rad movie poster.