Star Wars has a long history of amazing fan works that spawn from people’s love and passion for the 40 year old series. Fan films have been popping up on Youtube for several years, from low-budget to high-budget. No matter the money spent or time put in, it’s clear that the filmmakers creating these films have stories upon stories to share from the Star Wars universe. The universe only covers so much in the films and canon TV series (Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels) which leaves many planets, races, and stories left to be told.

The most recent fan film was released on August 2nd, 2017. Written, directed and edited by Aaron Kunkel, Days Past follows the story of a retired Captain who served in the Republic before the Emperor took over. The captain, Valera, lives on a desert planet reminiscent of Tattooine and has a tiny moisture farm setup.

One thing that I really enjoyed about this film was the focus on a character that was training people both pre- and post-Empire takeover. Valera retired from the military after the Empire took over, but she is clearly someone who does not approve of the new order in the galaxy. Even though we’ve never seen Valera before, we can see what she thinks through her interactions with her former student once he arrives.

As opposed to the large, grandiose adventures we see in the Star Wars films, Days Past gives us a look at Valera’s every day life. The film opens with her working on her moisture farming equipment and then greeting a few people that bring supplies by. These are very simple tasks that aren’t featured in the canon Star Wars works. But they allow us to see the daily life of other characters elsewhere in the universe while the main story lines of the Star Wars films are going on.

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The inclusion of such daily activities at the beginning of the film makes the suspense that is drawn out through the entire film that much more effective as well! I won’t give any spoilers for the ending, but the arrival of Valera’s former student now lieutenant for the Empire triggers a long back and forth that makes up a good portion of the film. The difference between the early daily life scenes and then the tense atmosphere that hangs around for the rest of the film makes Days Past really intriguing to watch.

The fan film is an attention-grabber, for sure, and really built up Valera as a character that I really enjoyed seeing on screen. If you’re looking for something Star Wars to help tide you over until The Last Jedi comes out, Days Past is definitely something to check out. The story, effects, writing and characters are all top-notch and show the love and dedication that the cast and filmmakers put into the film.