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.