Wired Profiles Fanboys

StarWars.com Team | March 25, 2008

Wired magazine takes an in-depth look at the movie Fanboys — which has had a bit of controversy lately from fans wanting the original cut (and not the Cancer-free plot) to be released in theaters.

The magazine chats with Fanboys screenwriter Ernie Cline, who’s proudly been a Star Wars fan since childhood. Cline reveals not only his love for the saga, but also his very personal reasons for making the original plot of Fanboys have a more deeper meaning than just geek boys on a quest to see The Phantom Menace before everyone else.

In early 1998, he and other geeks stuck at their desks across the country spent every free moment hitting Refresh on nerd-friendly sites in hopes of finding details about the first new Star Wars movie in 15 years. It was the perfect escape from the monotony of his work and the pain in his personal life. “My mother had died of cancer the year before, and I was in a morbid frame of mind,” he says. So morbid that he found himself entertaining an irrational and unspeakable fear: What if he died before the premiere of Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace?

“It seemed like the most horrible scenario at the time,” Cline says. The prospect of seeing the movie was a reason to get up in the morning, something he anticipated with every fiber of his being. “Like all the other fanboys, I was being more careful on the highway.”

Fans can also read about the connections Cline has with Ain’t It Cool News legend Harry Knowles, actor/producer Kevin Spacey and Fanboys director Kyle Newman. One interesting tidbit that many fans might not realize is how involved the 501st Legion was in getting the film made.

The Fanboys production formed an alliance with the 501st Legion, the largest organization of amateur stormtroopers in the galaxy. They appeared as extras and did crowd control. Ken VanLyssel, a Web developer by day and a member of the 501st by night, became an unpaid wardrobe consultant. For a scene in which a character eats peyote and hallucinates that he’s getting humped by an Ewok, VanLyssel himself created a small furry costume. “He would check in and say, Look at the teeth I made from a melted plastic cup,’” Lorenzen recalls.

Another interesting bit of trivia — at the end of the day when the Fanboys crew filmed at Skywalker Ranch for specific establishing shots, Star Wars prequels and special editions producer Rick McCallum stopped by to say hello. He ended up getting a quick cameo just for fun.

As filming wraps, a Porsche drives up to the main house on the ranch. It’s Rick McCallum, a producer on all of the Star Wars movies. He’s game for an impromptu cameo in Fanboys, one that can be inserted into the escape scene that was just shot. As Marquette again runs out of Lucas’ house and hops into the van, McCallum follows him outside and watches the Chevy screech away. He shakes his head and mutters, “Nerds.”

Read the full feature article here:
It’s a Wrap! Ernie Cline Has Written the Ultimate Star Wars Fan Movie

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