January 30th, 2012
03:14 PM ET

Fans re-create a classic with 'Star Wars: Uncut'

Countless fans around the world know the original "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope" by heart. And thanks to the efforts of Casey Pugh, they have been able to prove it, in some of the most creative ways possible.

Pugh crowd-sourced the movie, asking fans to take different small portions of the movie and re-create it. Years after he launched the project, "Star Wars: Uncut" is finally available to view online in its entirety.

CNN Geek Out spoke with Pugh about the project:

CNN Geek Out: Where did the idea come from?

Pugh: I was just generally interested in crowd-sourcing in 2009, while I was working at Vimeo.com. I was thinking about getting filmmakers to collaborate online. I started thinking, what's the easiest way to create a feature length film using the Internet? I stumbled upon the idea of splitting a film into pieces and asking the Internet to re-create it.

CNN Geek Out: Why "Star Wars?"

Pugh: It's the Michael Jackson of movies. I'm a pretty huge "Star Wars" fan, and sci-fi fan in general. I can't think of a single movie that has a larger fanbase. It seemed like the perfect vehicle to get this project launched.

CNN Geek Out: How long did it take to gather all of the pieces of the movie needed?

Pugh: It was probably about six months or so. I built the site in about a week, and it became very successful just that one week. I started getting scenes, and they started coming in faster and faster. I probably had every scene in five to six months, which is amazing! I asked my friend Aaron Valdez and brother Brian Pugh to cut them together as a director's cut. Technically, what you see was made two years ago, but I was making sure everything was legally cleared before I released it.

CNN Geek Out: How many pieces in all?

Pugh: There are 473 pieces total, 15 seconds each. You could also submit more than one version of each scene. I had 1000 submissions before I closed the submission process.

CNN Geek Out: Do you personally have the same detailed knowledge of "Star Wars" scenes that many hardcore fans have?

Pugh: That's the biggest part of its success. You can watch one of these scenes that may not be great on its own. But when you watch the scenes back to back, you recall that memory. People know "Star Wars" like the back of their hand. It's pretty (interesting) that you don't necessarily have to know the story to be entertained by the project.

CNN Geek Out: What did this tell you about "Star Wars" fans?

Pugh: I'm starting to feel like George Lucas, in understanding how rabid and huge the fanbase is. When I was a little slow to respond to something, they would ask me to hurry up? Now that it's out, people are asking when is "The Empire Strikes Back: Uncut?"

CNN Geek Out: Would you like to do that?

Pugh: "The Empire Strikes Back: Uncut" is something I definitely want to do. It's only a matter of time.

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Filed under: Fandom • Squee!
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. chuck

    evo! awesome

    February 24, 2012 at 8:01 am |
  2. Ron

    Evo that post was AWESOME!!!!

    February 7, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  3. Evo

    "It's the Michael Jackson of movies."
    Huh?
    Thought about this statement, and I guess it's true. Star Wars started out as very entertaining, then kept getting modified until subsequent versions were just strange distorted copies of the original.
    But more importantly, along the way it seduced a lot of children.

    February 7, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  4. War jack london

    Because region things way up to the 2012 Presidential elections, another thing recurs in all critical discussions : may Hillary Clinton work towards barak a few govt ...vintage fishing lures

    February 6, 2012 at 8:31 am |
  5. Sabre

    This is awesome! It blows the DOORS off of Episode I. Lucas, stop messing with the classics, because if you do... we'll mess with YOU!

    January 31, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
  6. dave

    How stupid is this?

    January 31, 2012 at 4:27 am |
  7. Swinging round

    The human swinging penis beneath C3PO in the first scene was enough to make me vomit. No further for this fan.

    January 30, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
  8. r

    This is great. Go watch it on YouTube.

    January 30, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  9. Bob Klingenberg

    Yeh... amateurish in parts. But the technology these folks used ... Lucas would have killed for at the time. We lose the perspective of how great advancement has been in our lives. I used to teach high school Biology. I came across a kit for $100 that had all the material for a class to perform recombinant DNA. When I was in high school... just a few years before Star Wars... if my class had done it we would have won the Noble Prize.

    January 30, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
  10. thatchmo

    If George would have just left Star Wars IV, V and VI alone when they went to dvd and blu-ray and not added all of the extra cgi junk, fans wouldn't be compelled to do this.

    January 30, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
  11. outawork

    When does George Lucas file the lawsuit?

    January 30, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • cpc65

      If they're not making any money off of it, I don't think he can. Besides, despite his faults (including insanity) Lucas has been generally supportive of such fan efforts.

      January 31, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  12. Lindsay

    Link to view Star Wars uncut in entirety links to a random Kevin Smith thing??

    January 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  13. Jose

    To quote Chris Rock from Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. "I think George Lucas gonna sue somebody"

    January 30, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Yakobi

      Wait a minute, someone actually SAW "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back", liked it enough to remember a line and quote it??? You must be Kevin Smith using a handle!

      January 31, 2012 at 4:40 pm |