When my son first showed this to me, it took me a few seconds to figure out what I was looking at. It feels like a clip from a “Star Wars Battlefront” game or something. But it it’s not. It’s a deep fake video. And if this is where the technology is heading, we are never going to believe a thing our eyes tell us on the internet ever again.
And my god, is this astonishing. Not just in how real it looks (there’s a clunky part or two and clearly the effects aren’t perfected yet), but how artistically crafted this scene is. The thing about this particular fight is that it was groundbreaking for its time. Young Me saw this at the same theater where I just saw “Endgame” and it stuck to my soul like a Mynock on the hull of the Millennium Falcon. (Yes, I realize that didn’t happen until “Empire Strikes Back.” I stand by the reference. Step off, Nerf Herder.) The kindly wizard facing off against his former pupil who’d already been established in Act I as the greatest villain in movie history – sacrificing his life so his new pupil could escape with the princess, the pirate and his giant space bear – was mesmerizing. I knew right then this would be one of favorite films for the rest of my life, and this would be one the most iconic moments. And I was right.
Until I saw “Empire.” And all the other light saber battles from all the subsequent movies, prequels and sequels. By the throne room duel in “ESB,” they’d upped the fight choreography to the point that when you went back and watched the Obi Wan/Vader showdown, it just looked sort of awkward. Like an old Alec Guinness and a guy in a costume that doesn’t allow him to move his neck swinging plastic sticks at each other. Because that’s what it was.
Until now. This is such an upgrade it stands with any of the best fights of the series. I honestly believe this is the beginning of a whole new way to watch great movies. Video fanfic where the technology is such advancement over the effects of the period, that they can remake the originals better than they were. Again, not just to improve the visuals but to tell the stories better. To improve the action. To build better drama.
It’s incredible. Now if they could go back and kill off Jar Jar, the world will be grateful.