Do you remember when being a Star Wars fan was truly fun? Why have things gotten so serious over the recent years? It appears that all hope is lost, with the Star Wars fandom embracing the dark side of the Force. Thankfully, there’s a (chosen) one who fully embraces what Star Wars was ordinally intended be… Fun! Filmmaker Raymond Montemayor may be our only hope to save the Star Wars community from destroying itself.
Montemayor took the Force by storm with his masterpiece, Star Wars: The Toys Awaken – a fan-made film part of an ongoing series with the same toy-like theme. The Toys Awaken is the third film in Montemayor’s ongoing series called, Star Wars Toy Stories.
The Toys Awaken caught the attention of Lucasfilm, where the original 5-minute cut of the film won awards for Best Stop Motion and Spirit of Fandom at the 2018 Star Wars Fan Awards.
He went on to produce a director’s cut, entering the project in a variety of other film festivals; where he added additional footage, improved VFX, and the voice of the talented Jamie Costa as Han Solo – replacing it with his own. Costa is also known for his own fan films Kenobi: A Star Wars Fan Film and Han Solo: A Smuggler’s Trade.
The director’s cut has gone on to win 16 more awards, from 30 film festivals across North America in 2019. He’s kind of a big deal, folks. Apart from his cast and some logistical help at the movie theater shoot, Montemayor was a one-man team from pre- through post-production.
For the final scene, Montemayor recruited members of a few cosplay and charitable organizations: The San Diego Star Wars Society, the Star Wars Steampunk Universe, and the Science Fiction Coalition.
Lucky for us fans, the series will go beyond a lone trilogy, with more reinforcements well on the way.
On the horizon is the sequel, Home Solo: A Star Wars Toy Story (also starring Jamie Costa). Think Star Wars meets Toy Story meets Home Alone.
On deck after Home Solo’s release is Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire – a feature-length, stop-motion film for the benefit of children’s charities based on Steve Perry’s Legends novel Shadows of the Empire. For Shadows, Montemayor is going to delve into the world of proper stop-motion puppets and elaborate sets to bring the story to life.
While having a bit of fun and embracing his creative side in the process, Montemayor’s goal is to the raise money and awareness for multiple charities across the globe.
Montemayor truly embraces the spirit of a Jedi and what Star Wars is all about. Having fun and extending a helping hand to those in need.
Are you late to the party? Check out Montemayor’s Star Wars Toy Stories series:
- Star Wars: Episode IV – A Toy Story (2015)
- The Rogue One: A Star Wars Toy Story (2016)
- Star Wars: The Toys Awaken (2018 – Director’s cut released worldwide on Dec. 27th, 2019)
- Home Solo: A Star Wars Toy Story (Currently in production – targeting mid 2020 release date)
- Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire (TBD)
May the Force be with you, ya filthy animals.