It took two years for Michael McCumber, aka Mike the Marine, to finish the 13-minute Star Wars fan short The Dark Resurgence: A Star Wars Story.
That's the way it goes sometimes with low-budget cinema. That's the way it really goes when that low-budget cinema is weaving itself into the fabric of the Star Wars universe. With obstacles ranging from the aforementioned low budget to weather to McCumber's full-time academic schedule to even the withdrawal from the project of a main cast member, it's quite possibly a miracle that The Dark Resurgence: A Star Wars Story was even finished at all.
It's even more of a miracle that The Dark Resurgence is quite the entertaining film.
From opening musical notes that represent one of the few things directly borrowed from the Star Wars universe, it becomes completely clear that McCumber is incredibly familiar with the Star Wars films and he's determined to give them their due.
The Dark Resurgence is set after the fall of the Galactic Empire; a group of Sith rises up to claim their place and one, in particular, is banished to another planet. This particular Sith, Lord Vycus (Daniel Sosa Porter), is the film's key villain and his inspiration is absolutely undeniable. Confronted by a rebel group and a powerful Jedi, Lord Vycus reminds us all of the alluring power of the dark side.
Despite the film's budgetary limitations, The Dark Resurgence is filled to the brim with Star Wars-tinged fight scenes choreographed by McCumber and brought to life by the film's terrific ensemble cast. The film's special effects, while obviously low budget, are surprisingly effective and immensely entertaining. It almost goes without saying that Daniel Sosa Porter is the film's highlight, though one must also give kudos to a top notch Kayla Bulster as Commander Valkyrie, Gerren Hall's Lieutenant Kor, and Christopher Szabo's Jedi Raven among others.
Released May 4th on Youtube, and if you don't realize that significance you're likely not a Star Wars fan anyway, The Dark Resurgence: A Star Wars Story is a fan film that should please true Star Wars fans and trigger more than a little bit of curiosity about how McCumber can possibly follow all of this up.