SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — It’s not every day you see stormtroopers roaming the beach, but thanks to a group of young filmmakers, ‘a galaxy far far away’ seems a lot closer to home.
Film and TV students from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) just wrapped shooting on “Odyssey,” a war film set in the Star Wars universe.
“Our goal for this project is to show you the gritty and intense struggle that rebel squads faced in the years before the death star,” the film’s website reads.
A team of six students is spearheading the film described as “Saving Private Ryan” with stormtroopers.
Director and co-writer of the film, Mark Alex Vogt, says he’s had a longtime dream of making his own Star Wars fan film.
And as a sophomore at SCAD, he realized now would be the best time.
“One year ago I decided to pitch the idea to some friends of a war short film set in the Star Wars Universe,” Vogt explained. “They all seemed very interested (luckily) and we began writing and researching immediately.”
A dozen drafts later, the script for “Odyssey” was born and the rest of the team got to work. They raised over $14,000 for the film through a Kickstarter campaign and began production.
Durning principal photography, the project gained a bit of viral attention when some tourists caught glimpse of the stormtroopers on Hunting Island.
“We did not expect the massive response at all,” Vogt said. “We were actually in the middle of shooting our last shot on the second day of principal photography when someone approached us and said ‘You guys know you’re at the top of r/starwars right?’”
Vogt says the attention only fueled the team’s excitement for the film.
“We’re tired, sunburnt, and a little broke, but we would do it all again in a heartbeat,” Vogt explained. “We’re doing this because we were inspired by filmmakers before us and our hope is that with ‘Odyssey,’ we can inspire others in the same way.”
Though you may not be seeing stormtroopers on the sand, they’ll soon be on the screen.
The “Odyssey” trailer will debut on May 4 (fitting) and the film is set for release on May 25 — the same day “Solo: A Star Wars Story” hits theaters.