A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Princess Leia Organa has twenty minutes to find 100,000 credits to save Han Solo's life...
Like far too many of my projects, Run Leia Run began with a title that I thought was amusing. I hadn't even seen Run Lola Run at the time. But I was thinking, "Someone ought to do a fan film called Full Metal Jedi or Run Leia Run, that'd be really funny." So I attempted to write... Full Metal Jedi.
But nothing was working. So I gave up.
When I finally saw Run Lola Run (is this getting confusing yet? From now on I'm gonna use the German title, Lola rennt), I was blown away. I immediately bought the film on DVD and decided that this fan film was worth making. I had already purchased (yes, purchasedno warez here!) Flash. I'd made some little crappy animations. It was time to forge ahead and make a big crappy animation.
I began writing the script on March 20, 2002. It was torture. How do you come up with an interesting story from a joke title? (As it turns out, "just throwing in a lot of lines from both movies" was the kicker.) I followed the plot of Lola rennt closely and just inserted Star Wars characters along the way. Every Star Wars character corresponds to a Lola rennt character, and part of the fun (for you, not me) is figuring out who's who. (A hint: I pretty much just left out the stuff about the ambulance and the glass window.) Basically, the goal was to tell the "Han gets frozen in carbonite" story from The Empire Strikes Back with a Lola rennt plot and feel.
And so, on April 10, 2002, I sat down and began animating. It was really fun doing the opening logos. Then I actually had to build some characters and was reminded of the fact that I can't draw.
I've come a long way since then, as an animator and a filmmaker. I still can't draw, but Leia at least looks reasonably feminine, right?
In keeping with the international-film theme Lola rennt handed down to me, the cast of Run Leia Run hails from not only the United States, but Canada, England and Australia, with the orchestral score written in Italy. I suppose to really simulate the foreign film experience I could have added a lot more subtitles. If you like that sort of thing, you can have fun translating all the Aurebesh (the Star Wars alphabet).
So why did I do it? Because I was crazy? Perhaps. To show my love for Star Wars? Certainly. To make a name for myself? Definitely. Because I used to have a crush on a red-haired German girl and I'm now transferring that affection onto Lola? No comment.
Because I find the title extraordinarily perfect? Without a doubt!
It took many months, a few hundred dollars and an uncountable multitude of Flash crashes to get the flick finished. But when I sit down and watch Run Leia Run, I really enjoy what I'm seeing and I'm glad I decided to do it.
(Update in 2017: I just watched this movie for the first time in years in preparation for the Special Edition to release later this year. It's cute. Of course it has its flaws, every one of which I recognize. But I don't regret it at all.)
REVIEWS & COMMENTS
"I absolutely loved it." Kurt Luther, TFN Fan Films
"BRA-frickin'-VO!!!" Chris Hanel, Digital Llama Productions, co-creator of The Formula
"Really enjoyed it." Admin, www.fanfilms.net
"I really really enjoyed it!" Jan Fischer, Tykwer-Online.de
"Quite funny. I had recently seen Run Lola Run and it made an almost scary matchup." Adam Casbarian, General Manager, Ubercon
"Adam Bertocci's animation captures the spirit of Run Lola Run ambitious in its scope." Happy Jawa Fan Film Review
"Overlaid with a throbbing hardcore soundtrack, this is wilder than a night out in the bars of Mos Eisley." DVD Review magazine (view scan here)
THE STAR WARS / LOLA RENNT CONNECTION
Natalie Portman once dressed up as Lola for Halloween.
The Star Wars Holiday Special randomly converts to animation for certain scenes, just like the staircase sequence in Lola rennt.
There's the immortal line in A New Hope: "Run Luke Run"...
This is a bit of a stretch, but, let's not forget, "Weird Al" Yankovic wrote a "Yoda" to the tune of a song called "Lola".
A connection through fan media: The end credits song from Lola rennt was used in the Star Wars fan audio drama Second Strike (Act II, about two minutes in).
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