South Surrey forests have served as the battle backdrop for those who pledge their allegiance to the empire in "Star Wars: Return of the Jedi" narrative.
When finished, the independently-created production, Bucketheads, will provide viewers a behind-the-scenes take on the struggles of stormtroopers, rebels, Ewoks, and droids.
“To see 'Star Wars' through the eyes of the Imperials, who are criminally under-investigated in the series,” co-creator on the project, Andy Brown, said of the series goal.
Brown, along with co-creator Marco Bossow, plan to explore their own human reality of wars fought throughout history, using a reimagined battle in Endor.
“Who is that individual behind the mask?” Brown queried rhetorically, hinting that “there is more than meets the eye to the billion individuals behind sinister masks.”
Although during the COVID-19 pandemic, actors in masks proved particularly helpful in helping curb potential virus spread.
Starting Sept. 4 crews of around 70 film professionals began volunteering their time and expertise to see the Twin Suns Film Foundation production come to life in Metro Vancouver.
The group released a trailer for the crowdfunded project this May.
Stunts saw boulders fly across the forest and stormtroopers – who wore masks for the duration of filming this weekend – fired shots from E-11 blaster rifle props.
“Not everybody makes it through war,” Brown hinted.
Before any member of the cast or crew arrived on set they were tested with forehead temperature scans and provided personal protective equipment, including masks.
Large battle scenes allowed for adequate space between unmasked actors, Brown said, mentioning that a COVID safety officer was also on set.
Brown acknowledged the upside to working during a pandemic when so many film professionals are unemployed – “We were fortunate that a large body of film workers was able to continue crafting their expertise here on set."
It meant that upscale stunts performers, costume designers, and other experts – who would normally be booked with paid gigs – had time to volunteer on the project.
“It has brought the film community together with the 'Star Wars' community.”
#Bucketheads Season One is officially shooting! We've returned to set in the age of Covid and if our #Stormtroopers and...Posted by Bucketheads - A Star Wars Story on Monday, September 7, 2020
Vancouver production management company, Promosa, is using the project as a test pilot for its new virtual technology, which afforded digital screen extensions that added 3D imagery and scenic backdrops.
Bucketheads first episode is expected to debut sometime in December, after more months of filming and post-production work in Metro Vancouver.
Part two of the episodic series is slated to begin filming in Vancouver in January.