Films, Jackanory

The Force And The Fury

A Jedi crash lands on a barren planet and is pursued by a mysterious Sith who seems to know him.

Director Jason Satterlund’s & producers Alyssa Roehrenbeck’s latest short film jumps into the universe of Star Wars.  “The Force And the Fury” has a simple enough premise with minimal dialogue and story.

In a sea of mediocre fan films, Satterlund’s latest project stands out from the rest for what it does right. It is filled with high-quality production design, excellent cinematography, great fight choreography and impressive music that hits the Star Wars tone.

It’s obvious Satterlund and his Portland team have a deep love for the source materials.
The costume design felt at home in a galaxy far far away. In particular, Aris Juson costume feels very on point with the original series (and Rouge One). Deborah Smith’s sith costume takes some cues from the Knights of the Old Republic, especially from some of the cinematic trailers from the franchise.

The props are well made and the lightsabers stand out as interesting and unique. In true Star Wars fashion, the communicator device is actually just the mic to a surveillance headset. It’s a nice touch and I’m curious whether it was an intentional call back to some of the thrown together props from the Star Wars films.

Aris Juson (the lead and I believe fight choreographer) brought the lightsaber dueling into the modern era, taking cues from The Force Awakens, for a more brutal sword combat than say the fancy dancing of the prequel series. I particularly liked the addition of the faulty lightsaber, a nice touch that made the fight feel more unique. It would have been cool to see them play with that idea a bit more. Like any good fight scene, Satterlund and Juson know not to overstay their welcome turning it into a boring slog. Instead hitting hard, fast and ending it before it gets stale.

One of the most noteworthy parts of the well made short is the score from Geoff Koch. From the very first note, you feel like you’re watching a Star Wars film. My first assumption was the score was lifted directly from the films, but quickly realized they produced a whole new score. Hats of to Geoff Koch for hitting the tone so spot on, while also bringing something new to the table.

I admit my biggest critique of this short film is a matter of personal taste. The Jedi Vs. Sith in random location trope, I feel has been long exhausted in Star Wars Fan Films. The setup feels overused and doesn’t give us a new look into the universe or explore its more interesting ideas.

That said, Satterlund’s film develops (or alludes) to a deeper story than most of its genre, tying our Jedi and Sith into a more interesting conflict than usual. I feel Jason Satterlund and his team have gone far and above most fan films of a similar style. His strong directing and stunning production value really puts it above the competition and should be applauded as such.

I can’t help but wonder what new stories Jason Satterlund and his team might tell in this universe if they explored beyond the Jedi Vs. Sith trope we know so well. Perhaps in the future, we might see more, but even if we don’t, this is a short film no Star Wars fan should miss.

JASON SATTERLUND
Director

Jason Satterlund is an award-winning director and owner of Big Puddle Films, a full-service film production company established in 2001. From the Philippines to Brazil to Arkansas, fans love Director Jason Satterlund’s raw, emotional style. Jason Satterlund’s last epic story, The Record Keeper, was nominated for Best Web Series and received the award for Best One Shot at L.A’s very own Geekie Awards.

You can follow Jason Satterlund to see more of his work.

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ALYSSA ROEHRENBECK
Producer

Alyssa Roehrenbeck began acting and producing at a young age, writing and organizing summer neighborhood plays and charging parents and siblings for admission and popcorn. After graduating college, she has gone on to successfully produce independent features like Seaside (starring Ariana DeBose from Broadway’s A Bronx Tale and Hamilton), OK KO GameJam documentary work for Cartoon Network, Misfits (starring Paige McKenzie) for Disney, and many more. 

ARIS JUSON
Actor / Stunt Coordinator

Aris Juson is a Filipino-American actor that has been on the television shows Leverage (on TNT) and Grimm (NBC) as well as numerous commercials and independent films. His work also includes the short film The Force and The Fury: A Star Wars StoryIncendio, winner of the audience award at the Portland International Film Festival, Counter Measure, an official selection in the L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival, and Splinter Cell – Extraction, an official selection for The Machinima Interactive Film Festival. He can also be found award winning web-series called The Record Keeper where he plays Mangkukulam, the demon of fire and nightmares in Filipino lore.

DEBORAH SMITH
Actress / Producer

Deborah is an actress and producer whose love of performing, storytelling, and new experiences has led to filming projects around the world. Originally from LA, she studied Theater and English Lit at UC Berkeley before moving to Australia to pursue her master’s degree in Film Production. She started acting again in the Australian film industry before returning to LA and diving head first into acting in and producing feature films. Currently, she has three features in various stages of production that she is excitedly working on, as well as other projects in development that she can’t wait to share!

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