Marcus Rosentrater

Star Wars Wars, 2015

3 single-channel digital videos and fan-sourced stills, sound, 2:22:29


STAR WARS WARS started with a simple desire to listen to the theme music from the first six Star Wars films simultaneously. Over the course of a weekend, that idea blossomed. I wanted to hear it with sound effects from the films, then wanted to see it with the accompanying images. This posed a problem. How can I watch them all at the same time?

Using my background as a film compositor and animator, I was able to find a method for overlaying all the films together that emphasized brighter sections of the frame. This is why scenes in the snow or the desert dominate the image, why lightsabers, explosions, and blaster fire are always visible, and why faces of one actor can appear in the silhouette of another.

As I scrubbed through the project I found images that for visual, thematic, and historical reasons had a poignancy that reflected my relationship with the film franchise. On the one hand, I found the newer films trampling on the artistry of the older films. On the other, I discovered moments that hinted at the hidden genius of George Lucas weaving together six separate films around a common structure, creating the largest mythology of our time. The chaos of it reflected the culture of relentless (and simultaneous) consumption and commentary surrounding popular film and television. The serendipity of it reminded me that there is something beautiful in that noise.

Upon sharing the film online I found I wasn’t alone in my admiration of this accidental work. To date the film has been viewed over 2 million times and has been covered by publications such as Esquire, Wired, Nerdist, LA Times, Time, CNet, and slashfilm.
Everyday I’m flattered to read viewers’ comments about this work, and I’m honored by its inclusion into this event for the Society for Cinema and Media Studies