In the opening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the setting is another bleak desert planet, filled with ruins of Empire space cruisers and all the junk that normally rains out of the sky during a heated battle such as the Battle of Jakku must have been. Entire star destroyers have somehow fallen from the sky and managed to crash into the unforgiving sands instead of simply burning up in the atmosphere.

The Battle of Jakku has happened generations ago – and therein lies an opportunity for storytelling. In Jakku: First Wave, three Imperial stormtroopers trade stories on why they joined up, just before they drop into a battle they have no hope of surviving.

Benjamin Eck, the director, proves that it is possible to tell a complete, even poignant, story in just three minutes. The troopers are, in order of appearance, Joseph Bearor, Aaron Goddard, and Tyler Wolfe.

The men stand inside of an Imperial walker waiting to be deployed. The air of authenticity is unmistakable, and the characters are as real as one could ask. The emotions each of them are feeling come off as genuine. Benjamin Eck’s web site comments that “the script and dialog are inspired by real life stories from US soldiers.”

Jakku: First Wave is a delicious slice of life moment and one of the better Star Wars fan films we’ve seen.


  • Writer / Director – Benjamin Eck
  • Director of Photography – Andrew Brinkhaus
  • Composer – Justin R. Durban
  • Production Audio – Eddie Coleman
  • Gaffer – Giulia Governo
  • Key Grip – Ravi Gahunia
  • Camera Asst. – Chase Hilt
  • On Set Photography – Mike Filewicz
  • 501st Legion armor provided by Taylor Fiore & Rudy Contreras


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