The force is strong with these film-makers.
A group of Hamilton Star Wars fans aims to give the powerful Disney studios some competition when they put together their short film based on George Lucas' blockbuster series.
The project has been in the works for more than a year and will go into production this month.
The group will be in costume and among the thousands of other science fiction, fantasy and film-loving faithful converging on the city for this weekend's Armageddon Pop Culture Expo at the Claudelands Events Centre.
"There's been a lot of work to do in making sure that we are congruent with the canon of Star Wars. We want to get it right. It isn't just a matter of throwing a script together and turning up with a camera," said Derek Neal, the film's main writer and director.
"We decided that it would be fitting to have some of our cast attend Armageddon in Hamilton to promote the film before we head into production. This is a film by the fans for the fans. Where would be better than Armageddon?"
Star Wars: Outcasts is set in the period between the original trilogy saga and the more recent prequel movies. It's a time when the evil galactic empire is hunting and eradicating the remaining Jedi throughout the galaxy, an effort lead by Darth Vader and his many sinister agents and bounty hunters. The cast includes a Jedi on the run, mercenaries in pursuit, and a Sith supplicant in the mix.
The Hamilton group includes Neal and Ben Corcoran as writers/producers. Anita Brennan, Chris Hanlon and Ashleigh Yates round out the main cast. Bruni Brown is the wizard in charge of fabricating the many props involved.
As well as a small army of crew, helpers and supporters, also involved is Sasha Nixon, whose own fan film Star Wars: Hunter in 2011 earned him the best actor award at the San Diego Comic-Con Star Wars fan competition, which was judged by a panel that included George Lucas himself.
Armageddon will feature appearances from numerous television and movie stars, comic book writers and artists and events, including a wrestling display, a cosplay competition and even an ice cream eating competition.
- Waikato Times