The Empire Strikes Back With A Bond-Worthy Opening Sequence

Star Wars fans have never been shy about ridiculing and criticizing the work of George Lucas, but they don’t often hold themselves to the same standard. If you’ve ever sampled the countless Star Wars fan films online, you’ve learned that there’s an infinite number of ways to screw up even the most celebrated science fiction characters and iconography. That said, student filmmaker Kurt Rauffer has created an extremely convincing alternate opening for The Empire Strikes Back, one that imagines a bizarre convergence of Star Wars and James Bond.


Scored to Radiohead’s un-used Spectre theme, this video makes it clear that the wonder and innocence of Star Wars is not necessarily an ideal match for the heavy-handed sleaziness of Bond, but there’s no question that Rauffer knows a thing or two about editing, animation, graphic design, and The Empire Strikes Back. “The franchise really sparked my imagination as a child,” he writes on the video’s Vimeo page. “It not only let me exercise my imagination, but also supplied me with some of the happiest memories as I watched it with my family.”


Unlike many Star Wars fan films, this alternate opening is the product of many months (an entire semester) of hard work. Rauffer ultimately submitted this as his senior thesis film, but it’s more than an academic exercise in aesthetics. As Rauffer explains, he also saw it as an opportunity to explore the film’s themes: “I really wanted to play on the concept of Luke trying to find himself and true purpose, so the music and inspiration felt fitting.”

You can watch Rauffer’s video below. If that leaves you hungry for more, watch for the filmmaker’s making-of video, which is coming soon.