Get cozy, I wanna try to do this all in one go so it may take a while!
Parts I, II, & III were written on September 4th 2014 at 1:58 PM, September 4th 2014 at 5:42 PM, & September 7th 2014 at 2:56 AM respectively in emails to @_13Chris.
She and I were on twitter talkin’ about Star Wars or Lightsabers or some such shit and some how got on the topic of my Lightsaber collection and either I offered to show her my blades or I asked if she wanted to see them (I forget man, get off my ass).
I think I tried tweeting or DMing them but they wouldn’t send, so I ended up emailing her shots of my Dooku, Starkiller, and Bane blades, easy peasy…but as seems to happen alot with me and my conversations, some how it turned into a playful argument.
Suddenly she and I were trading emails about how we were going to beat the hell out of each other with plastic tubes that light up and make whooshing sounds…for the record, we’re both over the age of 8…but apparently we’re both still childish shitheads cause it was funny!
So, without even thinking about it too much, I figured I could win the “argument” real quick with a little short story where nobody really gets hurt, just a quick spar.
From her last reply to the time I sent the email that contained, what would go on to be known as, Episode I of my Star Wars story 23 minutes had gone by.
It was just a goofy little thing I wrote because I hate losing arguments and fights, yes even fake ones…I’m stupid like that. Hahaha.
It took her 5 minutes to reply, and she said she dug it.
In my classic style, I deflected and said I pulled it out of my ass.
But she said it again.
Here’s the thing you’ve gotta understand about all of this, rarely, if ever, do I share something like this with anybody, especially somebody I have never (and chances are, will never) met in person.
Just not my style, man.
Hell, even Ross, the dude I’ve said many times that I feel is like a brother to me (read more about Ross and how important he is to me and TS-D/JA Productions here), hasn’t gotten to read alot of the shit I’ve written cause I just don’t like sharing, I like keeping my shit close to the vest until it’s ready to throw out into the world for everybody.
This was just to win an argument…wasn’t it?
After she said it was good a time or 2 I think I just wanted to see if she was blowing smoke up my ass so I think I sent it to Ross & @Fitzman73 (I can’t find the emails, but I told @_13Chris in an email that I’d sent it to somebody for their opinion. Those are the only 2 I sent it too besides C-Dub at that point, I eventually shared it with @NeilGat also.).
Remember, this was September of last year, a full month before this site launched, so I didn’t know @Fitzman73 as well as I do today, but I knew for a fact that he was a fan of Star Wars for quite a few more years than I was.
Who better to ask to read it than him, right?
His replies literally stunned me.
First he said it was good, second he asked me if there was more.
My exact reply was “Nah, that’s all I wrote.
I did it in like 15 minutes in the middle of a wacky convo.”
His 3rd reply was the one that really threw me for a loop, he said it was better than some published Star Wars fiction he’d read.
Now, as should be obvious from reading this site for any amount of time, I’ve never had the most confidence in myself or my abilities, so my very first reaction was “this dude is a fuckin’ master of hyperbole”, but even if he was yankin’ my chain…A LOT…he still said he liked it.
Ross told me he thought it was pretty awesome, then encouraged me (yet again) to start a blog.
I can’t find @NeilGat‘s reaction, but knowing Neil it was pretty damn positive.
That’s 4 people, 4 different motherfuckers telling me this shit is good.
So let me tell you kids something, this picture just below this paragraph is 100% fucking true!
You encourage somebody enough and some cool shit is gonna happen.
As you can tell from the time stamps above, I immediately started writing Episode II.
No clue, at this point I had no plans to make it into a video, I had nowhere to post it, I think it was just a personal challenge (and we all know I love those) to see if I could even do it.
I’ve thought for all the years that I’ve been into Star Wars (which isn’t as many as some seem to think) that it would be pretty cool to write a story set in the Galaxy Far Far Away, but it just felt like it was to far beyond my abilities.
These 4 dug it, so why the hell not?
Watch Episode I and I’ll tell you more about II after I break the video.
Yeah, I know I fucked up in the opening crawl.
The Rise Of Darth Doom was actually my first title, but I decided based on where I wanted to take the story after I’d written Episode III that The Challenge Of Darth Doom fit better.
I didn’t notice the fuck up until after I posted the video (the same sort of thing happened with my most recent video Confessions Of A Two-Faced Joker, I spelled Engineering “enginnering”. It’s a real shit that should not be for you Babble fans out there.).
That voice was a motherfucker to figure out as well.
It took me about 3 weeks of recording, rerecording, and rerecording again to nail it down.
@SteBoost even offered to give it a shot if I couldn’t settle on something.
The voice I was going for kept sounding like a mixture of Christopher Lee and Bane from Nolan’s 3rd Bat movie.
Based on the story and the way the Sith talks, that’s pretty much what I was going for.
That hint of aristocracy, this dude feels because he’s learning the ways of the Sith his shit don’t stank!
That’s hard to pin down, I think I did it, but that’s for all of you to decide.
I have found since I posted Episode I that I can slip into the voice with ease if I just say the very first line “She came at me swinging with an as yet unseen fire in her eyes”, but it was pretty rough for a while.
I was also able to get @ShariSayz to come and play the part of Padawan Arkinov, which I named in her honor.
I don’t have much to say about Shari’s work beyond excellent.
She always comes ready to play, she’s easy to direct (which is surprisingly hard from a few hundred miles away), and gives me great options.
I’m lucky to have found a lady of her talents to join in.
You’ll notice as you watch these that Episode I has almost as many views as II & III combined.
Well, the only way to explain it is sheer dumb luck!
25 days after I posted Episode I the first teaser for Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens was posted…and while I saw the trailer and loved what I saw, I loved the effect that trailer had on my video even more.
That weekend I got about 110 views just from riding the wave, and it was FUCKIN’ AWESOME!!!
Never before or since have I had a weekend like that, it was amazing.
Another fun thing to come out of Episode I involves a dude who’s done sound effects for some of my other videos, @FromTheMonkey.
After I posted Episode I, Mike (a huge Star Wars fan in his own right) told me how much he dug the video.
He then took the vid and added sound effects to it and played it on his podcast which you can hear over on his podcast Just Give Me A Few Minutes.
In his talk up, he mentions my apprehension about him doing it and I want to explain that a bit incase any of you are wondering.
I know when George Lucas was in charge, everything (music, sounds, all of it) was pretty much fair game to use as long as you weren’t making any money or saying “HEY YOU, BUY MY STAR WARS STORY. YOU, YES YOU!!! BUY THIS.”
George was hugely supportive of fans playing around in his universe and telling their stories, but now with Disney (a multimillion dollar mega corporation) in control?
Who knows, man?
I’ve always preferred to err on the side of caution.
Mike kept telling me I was overreacting, but what can I say?
Which is why, no matter how fuckin’ cool it would be, I’ve never used the music from any Star Wars Movie or TV Show.
Now, with that in mind, go listen to what Mike added to my story here.
So anyway, @_13Chris, @Fitzman73, @NeilGat, & Ross aka @SpiderScooby all dug the first part of this still untitled Star Wars story, so I hurriedly wrote part 2.
Again, Chris seemed to love it.
Asked me if I was writing more to which I told her I hadn’t planned to write either of them, but would keep her posted.
Fitz’s reaction was pretty good as well, he pointed out the descriptions.
I can’t find reactions from Ross or Neil, but they couldn’t have been bad or there probably wouldn’t be a 3 or 4.
So again, everybody dug it.
Making Episode II was way easier than Episode I, watch it and I’ll tell ya a bit about it after.
Yes, twice as long as the first Episode.
More brutality, more action, and (at least in my very biased opinion) more awesome.
I kinda fucked the opening crawl on this on
Somehow, the size of the font shrunk.
Pulling back the curtain on the way that I do these, after I finished Episode I, I used the same file and cleared the audio and star field picture out, but I saved the opening titles and closing credits.
I just go into the opening title file thingy and redo the crawl that way I don’t have to start from scratch, all about saving time.
Somehow it shrunk.
I fixed it on Episode III.
@ShariSayz really knocked this one out.
As I recall, she recorded the dialogue for I and II at the same time.
And damn it’s impressive…most impressive.
Technically, this was her last time truly playing Padawan Arkinov, though I did get her to do a tiny bit of business for Episode III.
I can’t say it enough, Shari rocks!
So again (before any videos have been posted), spurred on mostly by @_13Chris & @Fitzman73, I started writing again.
I can’t find any evidence that I told those 2, or anybody else for that matter, that I was actually working on a 3rd part to the story.
But this is where my memory really starts to get fuzzy, and I’m struggling to find any emails from the time that might help to fill in the gaps, but I think I may have written most of Episode III while listening to one or more of the Evening With Kevin Smith Q&A DVD’s.
Because usually when I sit down to write something I throw one of the 4 that are on disc in an let ’em spin while I scribble my madness.
They really are a relaxing welcoming listen when you’re trying to create, highly recommended if you’re a fan of the dude.
As you can tell from above, it took me 3 days to finally figure it out.
Since she inspired it, I sent it to the lovely @_13Chris first.
Unsurprisingly, she really seemed to dig it.
I wanna take a second here to shine a bit of a spotlight on dear lady Chris
It’s impossible to express how instrumental Chris has been in boosting me (and many folks on the twitters) when it comes to any sort of creative endeavors.
The chick is just plain awesome.
She’s always there when you feel like shit (which is pretty often for me), she’s always trying to instill confidence, lift you up, and make you fell better when you feel your worst.
The listeners of the Tell ‘Em Steve-Dave podcast all seem to be a pretty depressed group, and @_13Chris, more than anybody else I’ve seen, tries to make everybody feel better.
She’s got an insane fuckin’ Spidey sense and always seems to pop up when you need her.
If you’re reading this and you’re on twitter, click one of the spots where her name is highlighted and either follow her or just let her know how cool she is.
I try to often, but it’ll never be often enough.
You rock Chris.
Getting back on track, she dug it.
I’d also sent it to @Fitzman73, again because he’s the Star Wars guru I turn to for everything.
He dug it too.
And that was basically the end of it.
I still didn’t have this site yet so I wasn’t going to post it anywhere in prose form.
But shit man, I didn’t wanna let this die on the vine.
Then I have the obvious Jimmy Neutron-esque BRAIN BLAST and decided to make videos!
I think when I sent this around to the gang above I told them Episode III was written to be a slow burn to set up an eventual Episode IV, if I ever felt up to writing it.
As I wrote I kept getting these flashes of images of an Army of Clones in this grand hall…go watch/listen to the video and we’ll talk after!
See what I mean about it being a slow burn?
It has lots of quiet time in contemplation that leads up to that shock of the crisp Army of shiny new Clones.
Now, I specifically made sure Episode III went up in May as my little silent statement that I doubt anybody noticed.
I was kinda bummed when The Force Awakens was set for a December release date, I’ve said all along I’d prefer them to just delay is 6 months and release it in May to fall in line with the release schedule that George adhered to.
So as soon as this story of mine fell into my lap, I knew one of these Episodes was going to go up in May so at least there was something Star Wars in May.
Yes, I know that’s petty.
Also, I posted it on the 2 year Anniversary of my very first video Bitch Slappin’ The Wind.
As I’d said before, after Episode II I thought that I was done with @ShariSayz.
She’d answered my call for help for those first 2 parts and made it sing.
But as I was editing Episode III, I’d really started getting tired of the sound of my own voice.
I want to add somebody else to the mix just to break up the monotony me.
I’d written the part about the Padawan being on her last legs and in a final act of defiance against the tyrannical Sith she spit a mouth full of blood into his face.
Now when I asked Shari to play the Padawan, I figured I could do that on my own, but I tried and it just sounded like me.
Even with Doom saying that she spit in his face, to me, it sounded like me.
Me spitting in my face.
It’s one of those things that the majority of normal people probably wouldn’t notice, but if you’re someone like me that listens to cartoons and will call out who’s voicing who, it’s unacceptable.
So I fired off an email and ask Shari if she could do the sound for me.
It’s weird because you’d think a stupid human sound effect wouldn’t be that different, but it made all the difference and made the whole thing sing for me.
And it gave me one last shot to give Shari some credit for helping make these first 3 parts of the story come together as well as they did.
It’s not even a second long, but it sells the brutality of this monsterous beasts branded as Sith in a way I just couldn’t do alone.
Great work @ShariSayz!
As I start wrap up, I want to give you a wee little tease for the final installment, Episode IV.
Whilst I was writing 3 I remember kind of forming what would be the ultimate end of this whole story.
I wrote it in script form, rather than prose.
It introduces a 2 characters into the story who’ve not been from yet (but if you’ve been paying attention to the story so far, you can guess who they are) and a new voice that I’ve never recorded before.
At the time I wrote the conclusion, I didn’t know if it would be IV Episodes or V and I didn’t want to rush to the end just to connect the dots.
But with the help of @Fitzman73 (who was actually a great sounding board for the many ideas I had and brought a few of his own that really helped) I came up with great connective tissue to bridge the gap from the end of III to the scripted end I wrote.
Episode IV may end up being the longest Episode, and also my longest video, yet.
I’ve told her many times, but this is probably my favorite thing I’ve ever done, and I owe it all to @_13Chris.
I never thought I had a Star Wars story in me, but she found a way to bring it out.
A million thanks C-Dub!
If you’re interested, you can watch the entire story with this handy playlist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPXvHAA-B2g&list=PLgSiz8m5GATGm8yBCFIP5DmGqX3znHjtK&sns=tw
Share this post on twitter with the hashtags #StarWarsDarthDoom & #HowItHappened.
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The world is full of hateful, shitty, bitter people that will try to make you feel as low as they do.
Take a stand against them and combat all of that by putting a little bit of good into the world, even if it’s just a smile to a person having a bad day.
Thanks for reading.