ENMU students filiming ‘Star Wars’ based movie

By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer

Eastern New Mexico University students Rick Bardwell and Victor Smith are digital cinema arts majors who have a dream of making a “Star Wars” movie. They are in the process of casting for major and minor parts in the movie they plan to start filming in the summer.

“One of our other friends had come up with the idea of doing a short film,” Smith said. “Then we started writing a script, and it just became much bigger than that and it became a feature length film.”

Their story line falls in the “Star Wars” timeline long before “The Phantom Menace,” when Anakin Skywalker (who became Darth Vader) was a little boy.

“It is based 6,000 years before Darth Vader comes into power,” Bardwell said. “This is actually where technology is really low for them, but more advanced for us, but that is all we can say about the story.”

The first copy of the screenplay was finished in February, four months after they started writing.

Bardwell said the timeline on Wookieepedia, a “Star Wars” fansite, is detailed and they searched to find characters appropriate for the timeline they had chosen.

Working with a small budget, they have been working on gathering props, looking for people to build props and working on the screenplay.

Casting is Friday and Saturday for five major characters and numerous minor characters and extras. The two said performances would not be paid.

Smith said when they finish the movie, they will want to show it. Due to copyright laws with the “Star Wars” franchise, any showing would have to be free. Bardwell said the first screening is going to be for the film club they belong to, so they can get feedback about the movie once it’s finished.

“We want to show it here at the school,” Smith said. “We’re hopefully going to show it somewhere else and try to put it on the Internet.”