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TheHanSoloAffair1

A frame from The Han Solo Affair (2002) by Spite Your Face Productions, created for The LEGO Group and Lucasfilm

Star Wars has consistently been one of the most popular existing intellectual properties (IPs) and LEGO themes for people to make brickfilms based on and for viewers online to watch. Official Star Wars LEGO has existed for a similar amount of time as the online brickfilming community, and certain Star Wars brickfilms have played roles in pushing the brickfilm medium forward. Many people have been introduced to brickfilming via Star Wars brickfilms.

History[]

1970s[]

NeeBrellStarWars

A custom landspeeder model in Star Wars by NeeBrell Productions

The earliest available Star Wars brickfilm is Star Wars by NeeBrell Productions (a duo consisting of Brad Abrell and Steve Needell), created in 1978. This brickfilm is a truncated retelling of the first number of scenes from A New Hope, and features custom character and landspeeder designs, but it is also filled out by still images from the film taken from a pre-release Star Wars press kit that had been acquired by Abrell's father at an advanced screening of the film.[1] It may be the earliest known Star Wars brickfilm, although reportedly, Stefanie Herzer created one in either 1977 or 1978, which has never been shared online. The NeeBrell Productions film was first shared online in January 2014, but it remained obscure for a number of years as it was buried within a 37-minute upload of various super-8 animations and home movies. In 2018, it was brought to wider attention in the video The History of Brickfilms: 1970s & 1980s by Seán Willis and Brian Willis. In November 2021, it was highlighted in an article on the website The Holo-Brick Archives, and the film was given an individual YouTube upload by Steve Needell to coincide with this feature.

1980s[]

Legowars

A frame from LEGO Wars (1980)

The next known Star Wars brickfilm is LEGO Wars by Fernando Escovar and Eric Arbogast, from 1980. This film depicts a battle between two factions, and it largely uses existing Space and Castle LEGO figures and builds, so the characters and vehicles are not immediately apparent as being based on Star Wars. It was first shared online in April 2007, and so for a number of years was thought to be the first Star Wars brickfilm.

1990s[]

StarLEGO

C-3PO and R2-D2 as they appear in StarLego

Between 1990 and 1991, two Australians, Myles Abbott and Kevin Burfitt, created StarLego; a recreation of the opening of A New Hope, with some additional humour added. This was an unusually early brickfilm to be created with a computer, and features digital effects. The creators screened the film for groups of friends a number of times, and it was shown at at least one Star Wars fan convention in the 1990s.[2] In 1998, a remastered version was created to replace the original mono audio with the audio from the 1997 remastered edition of A New Hope. StarLego became one of the earliest brickfilms available online, first being made available to download on March 28, 1999.[3] StarLego was linked to by Star Wars fan sites of the time such as the fan film directory Mos Eisley Multiplex.[4]

Sabreduel

A frame from Sabre Duel (1999) by Kelly Jeffery and Russ Gatrell

In 1999, the first official Star Wars LEGO sets were released, with sets based on The Phantom Menace and on the original trilogy. The existence of official Star Wars LEGO would make it much more intuitive and more of an obvious idea to create Star Wars brickfilms, and it arrived not long before major growth of brickfilming as a hobby and as an online community, as well as throughout years when there was massive hype surrounding the release of the Star Wars prequel films. The earliest known brickfilms created with official Star Wars LEGO are the works of Kelly Jeffery and Russ Gatrell,[5] which were shared online in 1999.[6] Their best known film is the 13-minute Salt Lake Spaceport. Their films were also linked to on Mos Eisley Multiplex.[7] Another known brickfilm from 1999 with official Star Wars LEGO is LEGO Star Wars - A Scene From Return of the Jedi by David Pagano, which has never been shared online in full.

2000s[]

Pre-YouTube[]

FatherlyDiscipline

Digital lightsabers in Fatherly Discipline (2000) by Jason Allemann and Deane VanLuven

In late 2000, Jason Allemann and Deane VanLuven created and shared Hey R2, Fatherly Discipline, and Star Wars: LEGO Edition Trailer. These are among the earliest known brickfilms with digital lightsaber effects. (Other known brickfilms from 2000 that include digital lightsabers are Saber-Oops! by Russ Jensen and Lego Meets Star Wars by Paul Nunes.) Allemann and VanLuven's films were also linked to on Mos Eisley Multiplex.[8] In 2001, this duo would create their best known brickfilm, The Rescue, which is mostly based on Raiders of the Lost Ark but also crosses over with Star Wars.

The original Brickfilms.com film directory was launched at the end of 2000, and an online brickfilming community would grow on the forum of the site. Star Wars brickfilms had a consistent presence throughout the classic eras of Brickfilms.com. Star Wars films on the site at the beginning included Jar Jar Binks and the French Revolution by Marc Atkin, Salt Lake Spaceport, Star Wars: LEGO Edition Trailer, and StarLego. Early Star Wars brickfilms had a greater tendency to experiment with digital effects than other kinds of brickfilms,[9] with examples including Crash Ryan trailer (2000) by Jamey Dilbeck, Tube Wars (2001) by Rod Kent, Lega Wars (2001) by Ben Brenninkmeyer, Sector 7 (2002) by Robert Taylor, Star Wars: The Unknown (2002) by Andreas Feix, Duel at Kamino (2002) by Philip Heinrich, and Attack of the Clone (2003) by Michael J. Green. In 2001, the website Cool Brick Movies hosted a minor Star Wars brickfilm contest, which was won by Xarkun 8 by Joel Batterman.[10]

LSWProjectFrame

A frame from the LSW Project

A french video game programmer named Alban "Banban" Nanty had seen StarLego online, and was impressed by it but wished that the shots of the ships in space were done in LEGO, rather than just using footage taken from the original film. Following a conversation with a coworker, he took on the challenge of building the ships in LEGO and shooting the scenes. His coworker, after being shown this much, joked that now all he had to do was recreate the rest of the film. Nanty decided to actually attempt this challenge, and christened this the LSW Project.[11] He split A New Hope into 22 sections to recreate, and from 2001 to 2008, he managed to release 12 of these sections, totaling 53 minutes of the 121-minute film. The LSW Project was made at a time when various Star Wars characters and vehicles still hadn't been released in actual LEGO sets, meaning Nanty had to design his own often large-scale models. Nanty also released the Star Wars brickfilm Battle Droid Band in 2003.

Outside of the LSW Project, Star Wars films have been relatively popular choices for other attempts to recreate entire or abridged major films in LEGO, with further examples including Return of the Jedi Part 1 (early 2000s, 41 minutes) by Alex "Kooberz" Kobbs, Lego Star Wars (2004, 60 minutes) by "MRH Productions", Star Wars Episode I: Lego (2006 or 2007, 43 minutes) and Star Wars Episode II: Lego X (2006 or 2007, 30 minutes)[12] by "Krimzon Studios", and Star Wars V (2015, 43 minutes) by Antoine Huard. Huard did also release a full, 118-minute remake of A New Hope in 2015, but the YouTube upload of this is no longer available, possibly due to having contained the entire original audio track from the film.

Hansoloaffair2

A frame from The Han Solo Affair (2002) by Spite Your Face Productions

From 2001 to 2004, The LEGO Group collaborated with Spite Your Face Productions (the English duo Tony Mines and Tim Drage) for official stop-motion brickfilm productions. Spite Your Face were tasked with creating the first ever official Star Wars brickfilm to tie in with the upcoming 2002 release of Attack of the Clones and related LEGO sets. The duo instead opted to make a brickfilm based on the original trilogy.[13][14] The film Star Wars: Episode V 1/2: The Han Solo Affair was first released in April 2002. This film depicts a humorous "what if" scenario between scenes of The Empire Strikes Back, and follows various characters chasing each other to gain possession of Han Solo after he has been frozen in carbonite. The film is told without dialogue, and features a cartoony style inspired by the likes of Scooby-Doo and Looney Tunes. In addition to being available on the LEGO website, The Han Solo Affair was also popular across the internet on Star Wars fan sites and early video streaming websites. It remained available on the LEGO website for years to come, and also became a popular brickfilm on YouTube starting from the early years of the site.[15] The Han Solo Affair is regarded as an all-time classic brickfilm, and introduced many people to brickfilming.[16]

In 2002, the D.C.-based LEGO convention BrickFest announced its first brickfilm competitions, and one of these was the BrickFest 2002 Star Wars Movie Trailer Competition, in honor of the release of Attack of the Clones. This contest was for brickfilms that were trailers for an existing or fictional Star Wars film. The entries created for this contest were:

JediChronicles

A frame from Jedi Chronicles: The First Duel (2002) by Nick Maniatis

The winner of the Conference Organizer Award in this contest was Jedi Chronicles: The First Duel by Nick Maniatis. This film was considered to have standout lightsaber dueling and effects.[17]

RiseOfTheEmpire1

A frame from Rise of the Empire (2002) by Jay Silver

The winner of the Audience Choice Award in the BrickFest 2002 Star Wars Movie Trailer Competition was Star Wars Episode III: Rise of the Empire by Jay Silver. This film was considered revolutionary in the community for its overall quality and use of digital effects that was far more extensive than anything else seen up to this point.[18][19] Rise of the Empire was listed on Star Wars fan sites of the time such as TheForce.net,[20] ForceMatch.com,[21] StarWars-Universe.com,[22] and the LEGO Star Wars fan site From Bricks to Bothans.[23] It was also featured in media such as the book Using the Force: Creativity, Community and Star Wars Fans by Will Brooker, and the British sci-fi magazine SFX. Rise of the Empire was a major influence on the people who would make the most accomplished subsequent Star Wars brickfilms in the community, such as Philip Heinrich, Brendan Henry, Jonathan Vaughan, and Lewis Chen. In more recent years, people have remarked on how Rise of the Empire seemed to accurately predict much of what would appear in the real Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith - three years before it came out.[24]

Wastedjourney

A frame from A Wasted Journey (2003) by Chris Salt

The November 2003 issue of Wired Magazine included an article about hobbyist brickfilmers active online, which used Chris Salt as its featured example and included interview quotes from him. This article also primarily featured Salt's dialogue-driven Star Wars parody brickfilm A Wasted Journey (2003), and showed a series of frames from this film to demonstrate the stop-motion animation process.[25]

The French Star Wars fan sites SithClan.net and StarWars-Universe.com listed some French brickfilms that weren't listed on Brickfilms.com, such as LEGO Wars 2: L'attaque des clowns, Brik Wars, and Star Lego Wars Partie 1.[26][27] These sites also listed some of the higher profile Star Wars brickfilms that weren't from France, such as The Han Solo Affair and Rise of the Empire.

Star Wars brickfilms from non-English-speaking countries could also sometimes receive media attention in their country of origin. The trailer for the 2004 brickfilm Star Wars: Episode VII - Boba Fetts Rache by Tino Klein was discussed on German television in 2003. The 2004 brickfilm Le Duel Final by Vincent Kauffmann was featured in March 2005 on the French TV show "C'est pas trop tôt". This feature, as well as seeing the film LEGO Wars: La Menace Terrible online, would inspire "zwan" to start brickfilming,[28] and zwan would go on to create the 2007 brickfilm Star Wars: Une mission périlleuse, which was chosen to be featured on the front page of the French video streaming site Dailymotion in 2007.[29]

TGDframe

A frame from The Great Disturbance (2004) by Leftfield Studios

The first feature length brickfilm primarily comprised of stop-motion animation to be shared online was the 75-minute Star Wars: The Great Disturbance by Leftfield Studios, in July 2004. Leftfield Studios were already well regarded in the community for their witty comedy brickfilms, and The Great Disturbance was recognized as a major achievement in brickfilming.[30] The film was initially inspired by disappointment surrounding the Star Wars specials editions and prequel films, and it pokes fun at ridiculous aspects of the prequels. It was created across 16 months.[31]

In 2005, the second officially produced Star Wars brickfilm, Revenge of the Brick, was released to tie in with the release of Revenge of the Sith. This was a CG brickfilm created by the studio Treehouse Animation. Revenge of the Brick premiered on Cartoon Network, and was available to download from the official websites of both Star Wars and LEGO.[32][33]

Rise of YouTube[]

YouTube was first launched in 2005, and rose in popularity greatly throughout 2006 and 2007. YouTube (and also Google Video, prior to Google's acquisition of YouTube) made video sharing online more accessible and widespread, as creators could freely upload without needing to acquire their own web space, and viewers could stream videos rather than having to download video files. This made viewing and sharing brickfilms more accessible to not only larger but also generally younger audiences. Star Wars brickfilms have consistently had the capability to become very popular on YouTube.

TriumphOfTheEmpire1

A frame from Triumph of the Empire (2006) by Brendan Henry

Some people active on Brickfilms.com at this time weren't immediately sold by YouTube as it initially had considerably worse picture quality than file downloads and it was as of yet unproven to have longevity, but some early adopters did see renewed popularity of their older Star Wars brickfilms via 2006 uploads, with some examples being Star Wars: Last Strike (2002), Fly (2003), Duel (2003), and Guard (2003) by Nate Burr, The Han Solo Affair by Spite Your Face Productions, and A Wasted Journey by Chris Salt. Brendan Henry uploaded his Star Wars brickfilm Triumph of the Empire to YouTube upon its initial release in September 2006. A larger number of community members would upload their back catalogs to YouTube in 2007 and 2008, with examples of Star Wars brickfilms including:

At this time, it wasn't uncommon for random people on YouTube to upload films they didn't make themselves that they had downloaded from the internet previously, and certain popular older brickfilms would spread on YouTube via various uploads from people who didn't make them, with such films including Rise of the Empire, A Wasted Journey, Battle Droid Band, Star Trek vs. Star Wars (2003) by Dan Miga, The Han Solo Affair, Revenge of the Brick, and The Rescue. Some of these uploads would give the films different titles that would attract more views on YouTube.

Apart from previously created films, YouTube also gave rise to brickfilms by people who weren't tapped into the pre-existing community, and which could become very popular on the site. Some of the Star Wars brickfilms uploaded in 2006 that gained a lot of views include:

Some of the Star Wars brickfilms uploaded in 2007 that gained a lot of views include:

Most of these people did not make many more brickfilms.

Films such as these were often not posted on Brickfilms.com, but if they were submitted to the second Brickfilms.com film directory, they could be rejected if they did not meet the technical quality standard that had become established by this point. Common criticisms of popular "YouTube-centric" brickfilms of this time was that they often had lower framerate animation, consistently high camera angles, and/or crude digital effects. Once the community members who had been active on Brickfilms.com at this time established and moved to Bricks in Motion, films were mostly not rejected from the BiM directory, but they could be subject to much more critical reviews than people were used to getting from YouTube comments. The BiM community at this time was generally known to be aggrieved that brickfilms based on existing IPs could become much more popular and influential on YouTube than certain non-IP brickfilms they considered more worthy of merit. These factors led to a divide between the longer established sub-community and newer sub-communities that had sprung up via YouTube, the most notable of which was primarily focused on Star Wars. Certain high quality Star Wars brickfilms could still be exceptionally well received on Bricks in Motion, such as A Clone Halloween: Gurve Meh Teh Carndy![34][35] and The Force Unleashed[36][37] by Jordan Johnson, The Fastest and Funniest LEGO Star Wars story ever told[38][39] by Garrett Barati, and Battle of Hoth[40][41] by Kévin Ziolkowski. As the years went on, the divide shrank, as the general quality standard of what became popular on YouTube grew, and people on BiM became more used to the inevitability of brickfilms based on existing IPs appealing to much wider audiences on YouTube.[42][43]

LEGO Star Wars Movie Making Contest[]

LEGOStarWarsMovieMakingContest

The logo of the 2007 LEGO Star Wars Movie Making Contest

In 2007, The LEGO Group hosted the official LEGO Star Wars Movie Making Contest, which coincided with the 30th anniversary of Star Wars. This contest was publicized online, in The LEGO Club magazine, and at the Star Wars Celebration IV event.[44][45] The provided materials for the contest included three example brickfilms created by LEGO staff members, which were Airlock by Erik Varszegi and Ron Turcotte, Digested by Keith Malone, and this Hoth-based motion comic. This contest served as the starting point for numerous brickfilmers, and generated countless more Star Wars brickfilms, many of which were also posted on YouTube. The contest had winners in three different age brackets, with the winner that ended up receiving the most attention being Star Wars: An Average Death Star Day by Eden "eanimation" Sanders. Other notable entries to the LEGO Star Wars Movie Making Contest include:

Early YouTube Star Wars scene[]

Squad42NoAlternative

A frame from Squad 42 IV - No Alternative (2008) by spugesdu

Prior to YouTube, brickfilmers regularly active online would generally only make an occasional Star Wars brickfilm (if any) in addition to other films. The rise of YouTube also gave rise to brickfilmers who created Star Wars brickfilms primarily, and who would form community with each other. The Squad 42 series by Gareth "spugesdu" Pugh was initially active from 2007 to 2012 and was popular on YouTube in these years. spugesdu also hosted multiple brickfilm contests on YouTube over the years. The Squad 42 series was highly influential on subsequent plot-based clone trooper squad brickfilms, such as:

Confederacystrikes

A frame from Lego Clone Wars 501st Legion IV - Confederacy Strikes (2007) by pizzamovies

The 501st Legion series by Brad "pizzamovies" Roberts began to be uploaded in 2008 and became popular for its war scenes, scale of clone and droid armies, and vehicle layouts. The installment 501st Legion IV - Confederacy Strikes was one of the most viewed brickfilms on YouTube for a period of time in the early 2010s.[46] This series influenced subsequent clone army war brickfilms such as:

Milo "darthmilo77" Price was known for his 10-part Star Wars serial Solitary (2008 - 2010), as well as various Star Wars comedy shorts and scene remakes. Thomas "blobstudios" Fyfe was known for his series of Lego Star Wars - Christmas Specials (2008 - 2011) plus other Star Wars comedy brickfilms. Michael "Inglis93" Inglis was known for the half-hour brickfilm Star Wars: Episode III - The Last Stand (2009), plus various other Star Wars and non-Star Wars brickfilms. Base 327 (2009 - 2022) by Taylor "TaylorPlacePro" Davis is a long-running clone trooper comedy series. Forrest Whaley made various Star Wars skits such as Vader's Intervention and also voice acted in other peoples' Star Wars brickfilms, although he was best known for his Batman brickfilms.

Other names that were associated with the early YouTube Star Wars scene include "Metalzora", JT "ThatBobaFettGuy" Hagaman, Brent "BrickUnit" Mardon, Sam "Saminatorger" Richardson, "keatthebeat24", "OZZYPROD", The Four Monkeys, "MADABOUTLEGO", Al Nickels, and more. Many of the big names in this scene petered out of brickfilming activity around 2011 or 2012, but their influence remained apparent on various subsequent brickfilmers primarily focused on Star Wars.

Early Polish-language Star Wars brickfilms are the REBELS films (2008 - 2010) by Paweł Kamiński. An early Dutch-language Star Wars brickfilm is Het Ultieme Laserzwaard (2009) by "Websitecommissie". A notable German-language Star Wars brickfilm is the 32-minute THE ESCAPE (2009/2010) by Wilhelm Giesselmann and Christine Pohlmann ("steinchenfilm").

The popular 2009 brickfilms Meeting Of The Villains and Meeting Of The Heroes by Keshen8 feature multiple Star Wars characters in addition to characters from other franchises.

CloneTrainingCenter

A frame from Clone Training Center (2009) by Fancy Pants

Jordan "Fancy Pants" Johnson began releasing brickfilms with Star Wars: The Ruthless Plan in 2008, and he became known for being one of the people at the forefront of making high quality brickfilm productions in 2009 with the films Gunship Down, The Game, Clone Training Center, and A Clone Halloween: Gurve Meh Teh Carndy!. The comedy brickfilm Clone Training Center in particular was very popular and spawned the original clone trooper characters Bridge and Gus, whom Fancy Pants would make numerous subsequent brickfilms starring. Fancy Pants would also help influence the general quality standard in brickfilming with multiple tutorial videos posted in 2009 and 2010. Another brickfilmer known for high quality works was Zach Macias, who did not make many Star Wars brickfilms, but who did make The Emperor's Royal Guard in 2009.

In 2009, LEGO and Cartoon Network released the 5-minute CG brickfilm LEGO Star Wars: The Quest for R2-D2, directed by Peder Pedersen. This was folllowed in 2010 by LEGO Star Wars: Bombad Bounty.

2010s[]

ForceUnleashed

A frame from The Force Unleashed (2010) by Fancy Pants

In 2010, Jordan "Fancy Pants" Johnson released The Force Unleashed, which was created for and won a "Lightsaber Duel" Animation Challenge on Bricks in Motion. This film was lauded for its animation, camera movement, choreography, and other technical qualities,[37] and it was regarded as a new benchmark for lightsaber dueling in brickfilming.[36] The Force Unleashed became very popular on YouTube, and received media attention from the likes of Gizmodo and Kotaku. The Force Unleashed influenced subsequent lightsaber duel brickfilms such as Lego Star Wars - The Force Unleashed 2 (2011) by Zach Boivin, LEGO Star Wars - The Old Republic (2012) by Christopher Gearhart, and Lego Star Wars - The Betrayal Part 2 (2013) by Gus Danko. Fancy Pants was contacted by a marketing agency to have him animate LEGO Star Wars III: "The Build Off" (2011) for LucasArts, as part of the marketing for the video game LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars.

FastestFunniest

A frame from The Fastest and Funniest LEGO Star Wars story ever told (2010) by Garrett Barati

On May 4, 2010, The LEGO Group released The Fastest and Funniest LEGO Star Wars story ever told, which was animated by Garrett Barati. This film is a humorous recap of the original Star Wars trilogy, in two minutes. It was initially released on a YouTube channel that was not obviously connected to The LEGO Group, and it was presented as if having had been made by a kid, despite its professional production values. This film was very successful on YouTube, and was shared by outlets such as Gizmodo, Wired, The Escapist, and The Brothers Brick. It was followed in 2011 by The Fastest and Funniest LEGO Star Wars story ever told... The Prequel!, also animated by Barati. These films were also available on the LEGO website and as DVD extras on home releases of the official 22-minute CG brickfilm LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace.

Throughout the 2010s, it became more frequent for The LEGO Group to commission stop-motion brickfilms for release online. Further examples of official Star Wars brickfilms include Red Brick Saga #4 - Star Wars (2011) by Paganomation, Not So Silent Night (2011) and Making a List, I Am. Checking it Twice, I Must. (2011) by Garrett Barati, the 10-part LEGO Star Wars Fête de Pères & Fils campaign (2012) by the digital advertising agency Monsieur White, Luke's Landspeeder (2017) and A Deadly Death Star Eclipse (2019) by Something's Awry Productions, Death Star Escape (2019) and Escape from Scarif (2019) by Adam "Ant Bandit" Nies, and many by Brotherhood Workshop from 2015 onwards. In the 2010s, The LEGO Group also began releasing many more CG Star Wars brickfilms online.

From 2010 to 2013, Donald Faison (an actor best known for his role as Turk on the TV series Scrubs) released his trilogy of Black Stormtrooper brickfilms, which were influenced by a stint as an animation intern on Robot Chicken, and feature custom printed face animation.

In 2011, LEGO and Cartoon Network released the 22-minute CG brickfilm LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace, directed by David Scott.[47] This was followed in 2012 by LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out, directed by Guy Vasilovich. These were aired on Cartoon Network, and were later made available on DVD and Blu-ray.[48]

Beginning in 2012, the Brickfilmer's Guild Film Festival by The Four Monkeys has awarded brickfilms released in each year in various categories. This festival has also included themed "honorable mention" categories, one of which is "Best Star Wars Brickfilm". Winners of this category have included the likes of Luke Skywalker vs Darth Vader Final Duel (2014) by Kévin Ziolkowski, Star Wars: The Underworld (2015) by Christopher Gearhart, Lando's Deal (2017) by Adam Nies, and Marriage: A Star Wars Story (2020) by Zach Macias and Nathan Wells.

Storm-Trippin

A frame from Storm-Trippin' (2013) by Aaron Legg

The 10-minute long, dialogue-free comedy brickfilm LEGO Star Wars: Storm-Trippin' (2013) by Aaron Legg became a very popular brickfilm on YouTube. This was followed by a 17-minute sequel, Storm-Trippin 2 - A New Home, in 2015. Legg would create multiple other Star Wars brickfilms, including Return of the Saber and Rancor Ruckus in 2016.

In the mid-2010s, Fancy Pants, following a hiatus from and return to brickfilming, began releasing new Bridge & Gus brickfilms, and went on to reboot Clone Training Center as a new series. He released Clone Training Center: Episode 1 in 2016 and Clone Training Center: Episode 2 in 2017. He also collaborated with Alex Pearson on multiple brickfilms including Grandpa Vader and Kylo Ren (2016), which became the most viewed brickfilm on his channel.

Forceawakens16

16 Force Awakens teaser trailer recreations being played simultaneously

The trailer recreation as a brickfilm genre had emerged alongside the rise of YouTube, and trailer recreation brickfilms had the potential to appeal to wide audiences and receive media attention. In 2014, the enormously hyped first teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released, and this led to a "gold rush" of brickfilmers racing to recreate the trailer in the hopes of scoring a hit. Multiple recreations were released within just one or two days of the release of the teaser, with more throughout the following month or so. The recreation that received the most views was Lego Star Wars Stop Motion Animation The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer by Shane "Snooperking" Kerksiek, which was released the day after the actual teaser. A YouTube user uploaded a split-screen video of 16 brickfilm recreations of the trailer playing simultaneously a couple of days later. For a while, subsequent Star Wars trailers would lead to similar brickfilm recreation races, but not on the same scale as for the first Force Awakens teaser. Christopher Gearhart would bring together multiple professional brickfilmers under the name Animators Collective to create the trailer recreation Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in LEGO! in 2016. In 2018, Disney and The LEGO Group released Solo: A Star Wars Story Official Trailer (As Told with LEGO Bricks), directed by Pablo Espada.

In the mid to late 2010s, the large YouTube channel How It Should Have Ended collaborated with Brotherhood Workshop on multiple brickfilms, including the Star Wars brickfilms Sand People Are Bad Shots (2014), The Force Awakens Lego HISHE (2016), Chirrut Versus Everything (2017), and Star Wars: The Last Jedi LEGO Summary (2018).

In 2018, Gareth Pugh returned to the Squad 42 series with the CG brickfilm Squad 42: Dissolution. This film won 2 categories in the 2018 Brickfilmer's Guild Film Festival, and was also nominated for 2 more.

From the mid-2010s, it began to become relatively less uncommon for feature length Star Wars brickfilms to be released. Examples include Nowy Początek (2017) by "Kroper", Star Wars Conquest of the Empire (2017) by Tom Markiewicz, Star Wars: Interstice (2021) by "New Technique", and From the Ashes (2021) by Brendan May, which was created across 9 years.

2020s[]

In 2020, the group Brickfilm Day released the 19-minute community project brickfilm The Skywalker Saga in LEGO, which recaps all 9 main Star Wars films. This project received positive reactions from the likes of Rian Johnson and Mark Hamill on Twitter.[49][50] Brickfilm Day followed this in 2021 with the community project brickfilm THE BAD BATCH TRAILER in LEGO!.

The official, 44-minute CG brickfilm LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special directed by Ken Cunningham was released on Disney+ in 2020. This was followed by the specials LEGO Star Wars: Terrifying Tales in 2021 and LEGO Star Wars: Summer Vacation in 2022.

Forrest Whaley returned to Star Wars with the 2021 brickfilm Lego Mandalorian. His later 2021 brickfilm Starship Speedway was also posted on the LEGO YouTube channel.

The 2021 Star Wars brickfilm The Journey of a Soldier part 2 by Kamil Adam Janko won the top international prize in the 2021 Brickstars on Brick à Brack. The first part had previously been nominated for many awards including Best Film in the 2018 Brickfilmer's Guild Film Festival, and had won the Best Star Wars Brickfilm category.

ThePhantomLimb

A frame from The Phantom Limb (2022) by Aaron Legg

After not having released any brickfilms since 2017, Aaron Legg returned in 2022 with the 11-minute Star Wars brickfilm The Phantom Limb, and this film won Best Film and 6 other categories in the 2022 Brickfilmer's Guild Film Festival.

In 2024, The LEGO Group hosted the LEGO Star Wars 25-Second Film Festival to celebrate the 25-year anniversary of the launch of the LEGO Star Wars line. This festival was for Star Wars brickfilms of 25 seconds in length. Various brickfilms were commissioned to be used as examples and promotion, which included:[51]

Every accepted entry to the festival was posted in a playlist on the LEGO YouTube channel. This was not a competitive event, and so did not have winners or prizes.[52]

References[]

  1. 2021 article about Star Wars by NeeBrell Productions
  2. 1999 interview with Kevin Burfitt
  3. Torps.com news archive
  4. Mos Eisley Multiplex 1999 archive
  5. BricksInMotion.com post documenting known early brickfilms
  6. Kelly Jeffery and Russ Gatrell's wesbite Movies page archive
  7. Mos Eisley Multiplex 2000 archive
  8. Mos Eisley Multiplex 2001 archive
  9. "The History of Brickfilms: The origins of the online LEGO animation community (2000 & 2001)" by sillypenta on YouTube
  10. Cool Brick Movies contests page archive
  11. Interview with Alban Nanty
  12. Krimzon Studios YouTube channel archive
  13. "Making Star Wars The Han Solo Affair" blog post
  14. "The World of Brickfilms Podcast Ep 40 w/Spite Your Face" on YouTube
  15. The Han Solo Affair 2006 YouTube upload
  16. "Remembering Tony Mines of Spite Your Face Productions - Brickfilmers pay tribute" on YouTube
  17. Jedi Chronicles: The First Duel release thread archive
  18. Rise of the Empire release thread archive
  19. Rise of the Empire directory listing archive
  20. TheForce.net Fan Films page archive
  21. ForceMatch.com Downloads page archive
  22. StarWars-Universe.com Rise of the Empire page archive
  23. Jay Silver's website Films page archive
  24. "The Brickfilm That Predicted Revenge of the Sith in 2002" by RichboyJhae on YouTube
  25. Legos, Camera, Action! article Wired Magazine archive
  26. SithClan.net Fan Films page archive
  27. StarWars-Universe.com Fan Films page archive
  28. zwan's account of what got him into brickfilming
  29. Star Wars: A perilous mission (Brickwars) featured on the front page of Dailymotion in 2007
  30. Star Wars: The Great Disturbance directory listing archive
  31. Star Wars: The Great Disturbance release thread archive
  32. Revenge of the Brick on the Star Wars website in 2005
  33. Revenge of the Brick on the LEGO website in 2005
  34. A Clone Halloween: Gurve Meh Teh Carndy! release thread on Bricks in Motion
  35. A Clone Halloween: Gurve Meh Teh Carndy! directory listing on Bricks in Motion
  36. 36.0 36.1 The Force Unleashed release thread on Bricks in Motion
  37. 37.0 37.1 The Force Unleashed directory listing on Bricks in Motion
  38. The Fastest and Funniest LEGO Star Wars story ever told release thread on Bricks in Motion
  39. The Fastest and Funniest LEGO Star Wars story ever told directory listing on Bricks in Motion
  40. Battle of Hoth release thread on Bricks in Motion
  41. Battle of Hoth directory listing on Bricks in Motion
  42. "IP vs. Non-IP brickfilms" section in "The LEGO Animation Iceberg Explained" by Bricks in Motion
  43. Twisted Bricks podcast with LOTW Studios and sillypenta
  44. FBTB thread about the announcement of the LEGO Star Wars Movie Making Contest contest
  45. Press release for LEGO's booth at Star Wars Celebration IV
  46. Graph of most viewed brickfilms over time (missing Death Star Canteen)
  47. LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace Wookiepedia page
  48. LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out Wookiepedia page
  49. Rian Johnson responds to The Skywalker Saga in LEGO on Twitter
  50. Mark Hamill responds to The Skywalker Saga in LEGO on Twitter
  51. LEGO Star Wars 25-Second Film Festival web page
  52. TheBrickFan.com article about the LEGO Star Wars 25-Second Film Festival
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