Whatever it is, it looks like butt.New Cartoon: Fan Film Or Official Series?
As we reported earlier, a website called Tales of the New Republic has popped up on the internet, advertising what appears to be a CGI Star Wars cartoon. The full site is due to go live on Friday 25th May—which, as I'm sure you don't need to be told, is the thirtieth anniversary of Star Wars.
The obvious question is whether this is official Star Wars stuff, or if it's simply a high-quality fan-film.
Here's what we've been able to work out so far.
* The style of the cartoon is the same as that of the official Gentle Giant character maquettes, which you can see here (that connection seems to have been made first on the Slashboing blog).
* In addition, the "Star Wars Animated" logo that appears on the website also appears on the packaging and bases of the maquettes.
* So either some film-making fans are being very cheeky and stealing the logo and visual style of the official maquettes, or else the maquettes were some very sneaky advertising for the series.
* The animation uses LightWave 3D, and is headlining the news ticker on the software's official site. From a quick browse, it seems clear that much of the site's content is tied up with high-level professional use, on movies and TV series like 300 and Stargate: Atlantis, but I don't know if that would exclude a fan-film.
* Attempts to track down the ownership of the URL talesofthenewrepublic.com takes you from InterNIC, via TUCOWS, both standard registration sites, to a company called Perfect Protection LLC, who seem to specifically exist to prevent people ID'ing the real owners of URLs. Again, I don't know if this would exclude the possibility that this is a fan-film.
* The images in the trailer feature Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Wedge Antilles, but not Han Solo. Now, a few months back, we reported on a rumour that Harrison Ford had turned down some sort of Star Wars sequel, which would fit in with Han's apparent absence. The report was quickly dismissed, however, and this could easily be just a coincidence.
So, what's the final analysis? This certainly could be a real new piece of official Star Wars storytelling—there's nothing in all this that conclusively rules it out; but as yet, it would still be pure speculation to suggest that's what it was.
The alternative, of course, is that this is the work of some creative fans, perhaps trying to be deliberately mysterious in the hope of generating some hype about their new fan-film....
We'll bring you more on this story as we have it!!