As the winner for the Best Comedy Award presented by Lucasfilm and Atom at this year’s Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge at San Diego Comic-Con International, Family Dysfunction shows the story of Darth Vader’s illegitimate son who idolizes him as a child, hates him as a teen and thinks he’s an old, washed-up Sith Lord as he enters his twenties.
Starwars.com chats with Arizona-based filmmaker Rich Scheirmann about his fan movie.
What is your background in film?
I made my first film at the age of eight or nine. It was an 8mm stop-animation short staring Star Wars action figures. Since then, my love of film and video has matured. In college, I received three degrees all in the cinema realm. Performance wise, I’ve done everything from stand-up comedy to stage performances and television hosting. Over the years, I’ve participated or created well over a hundred videos.
What prompted you to make a Star Wars fan film? Have you made a fan film before?
I remember being a kid and watching a documentary on Star Wars. The one thing that has stuck with me over all the years was Mr. Lucas’ tenacity. Over the last few decades, his aversion to complacency has brought about the largest technical advancements in film. Where would we be without THX, ILM and Lucasfilm’s digital evolution? I know I’d still be making 8mm stop animation flicks.
Where did you get your idea for your film?
The Skywalker family is the poster child for dysfunction. My original idea was a mock reality show that would explore the inadequacies of the Vader clan. I wanted it to be The Osbournes in space — only with lightsabers. This was a test run.