It’s easy with a saga like Star Wars to focus on the grand, sweeping stories of plucky heroes fighting against behemoth, faceless villains. But every so often we get a little glimpse at the humanity inside those white trooper helmets, whether it’s chit chatting in A New Hope, getting individual character arcs in The Clone Wars TV show (yes, we know the Clones aren’t the same as stormtroopers), or even having a main character in The Force Awakens be a stormtrooper. In the new fan film Jakku: First Wave, we see what three of them do just before a battle.
There have been comedic takes on stormtroopers in the past, but rarely do we get to see the Imperial’s finest be anything other than nameless, faceless cannon fodder. This film by Benjamin Eck (shared by /Film) shows us the quiet moments for three troopers prior to their joining the fracas in the Invasion of Jakku. We’re told right away, in cold, academic text, that the Invasion of Jakku — which was one of the last gasps of the Empire following the Battle of Endor — saw 7,000 Imperial troopers fight in the “First Wave.” And none of them survived.
We know right away that these three characters are doomed, which makes their conversation all the more powerful. They’re fighting for different reasons — one to prove to his friends he can do it, one because he likes the armor, and one to avenge his brother’s death aboard the Death Star II — but they’re all fighting together. In just three-and-a-half minutes, Eck shows that there truly are many different stories to tell in the Star Wars, and not all of them are about rebels, Jedi, or Sith Lords.
We’d love to see a TV show go the Band of Brothers route with stormtroopers. Maybe that’s what the fabled live-action TV show project could be about? Hmm… let us know your thoughts on the short in the comments!
Image: Benjamin Eck