Fan Film - Revan (Review)
76 minutes long, Revan is an awesome passion project. The actors, although young for their roles, do a good job. Most of the acting is believable, and the same goes for the script. They use homemade masks and a prop, which wins points with me, and the special effects are low-medium tier; not outstanding but they serve their purpose. They only get very distracting in the second act, because their lack of shadows fails to make them convincing.
After the Mandalorian war galactic tension has died down. But there is still danger lurking to arise. Former Dark Lord Revan and Bastilla are now married and living somewhat happily on Coruscant, but he is plagued by nightmares. We're introduced to the Sith; Lord Scourge, Darth Nyriss and Setchel. Scourge and Setchel are Sith Purebloods, which is a cool touch.
Then Revan meets with a friend, later revealed to be a Mandalorian, in a bar on Coruscant. The
conversation is good, and I like the reference to Attack of the Clones where he says he doesn't sleep well because of his dreams. But what's up with the make up on Canderous face?
Then we see him meet someone in the Jedi Archives. She doesn't like him much and is not afraid to speak her mind. Revan is obviously still held accountable for his dark past, and his attonement doesn't exonerate him in everyone's mind. One thing stands out: "It's your fault she cut herself off from the Force! For a Jedi that's a fate worse than death." A relevant topic of thought in the light of recent developments. I love that they combined a few sub-plots from both Anakin and Obi-Wan in Attack of the Clones; the nightmares, meeting a source in a social place and the confrontational encounter in the library.
Meanwhile the Sith do what Sith do; using others to advance their own schemes, and betraying each other whenever that's advantageous. I really like how they stay true to the nature of these characters, and this interesting storyline is well-written. Later on for instance they show the old Sith Emperor Vititate draining the entire population of Natheema to become immortal, which is done well.
Revan and Canderous go to the planet of Revan's nightmares, where they meet Canderous' clan.
Apparently that clan is living on the exact planet that Revan mentioned to him earlier, to which he said it didn't ring a bell, so he was lying to protect his kin. I like that they let us reach that conclusion ourselves, and it makes me more connected with his character. It's also revealed that he used to be married to the clan leader, setting up a side-plot.
Of course the Mandalorians have fallen back to their old ways after the lost war against the Republic, so the clans are again fighting amongst themselves. They're attacked by a neighbouring clan and it's a good fight, but it would have been better off without the CGI. The overwhelmingly light shots make their lack of shadows too hard to ignore, so the objects are unconvincing. Nevertheless they serve their purpose. Then Revan starts to remember more about his previous visit to that planet, and he knows where he hid the mask that will unite the clans. He and Canderous retrieve it, but are then ambushed by Veela and her henchmen. During the argument several set-ups get resolved, which is generally well done. "End this madness" is too melodramatic, but "I'm no ordinary Jedi" makes up for it. After Canderous uses the mask
to unite the clans, the Sith come to that planet and take Revan hostage, setting up the plot-line for the third act.
Almost the entire sequence on this planet is overexposed and a couple story elements failed. The continuous storms supposedly plagueing the planet are nothing more than a little snowfall resembling a blizzard. And I know Mandalorians are hardcore badasses, but living in tents on such a hostile planet doesn't work either. I recognize the several issues limiting the filmmakers in these regards, but they trapped themselves by establishing an element they couldn't work out properly.
The third act starts out with a new girl; Meetra. She should've had a proper introduction after being only casually mentioned once, 30 minutes earlier. Apparently T3, who does look good, had no problem tracking her down, which I choose to see as a clever wink to the storage of secret hide-out information in multiple droids throughout the saga. Unfortunately the conversation between her and Bastilla is not great. Bastilla first wants to watch T3's message alone but gets very passionate, without good reason, about watching it together after that.
Meetra then takes it on herself to free Revan from the Sith, and with a sudden plot-twist teams up with Scourge against the greater threat. They get to Revan, who passes out when he is reunited with his mask. I like the combination of acting, camera-work and editing here. Scourge carries him while he and Meetra make their way to the Emperor's palace, but before they can reach it they're awaited by Darth Nyriss and some henchmen.
The resulting lightsaber battle is very satisfying because they compensate for their lack in choreographic skills with clever shots and decent editing. Revan remains unconscious for most of the fight. Just when Meetra is about to get killed he comes to her rescue to then take on Nyriss alone. Apparently he saw fit to get fully dressed while his friend was in combat, a small issue but a very satisfying sight nonetheless.
The Force-pull of the two pillars is a cool moment, but them falling down is a missed opportunity to use the shadowless CGI, preventing it from being truly epic. Regardless of its issues, this lengthy Revan movie is very enjoyable. I also want to point out that the makers would appreciate a small donation to cover some of the costs, for which they put a link in the description. We're not associated with them, but I do feel a certain responsibility to relay such messages.
Article by: Joel "Mith" Storms