Musical mashups aren’t broadly common, but they do exist. Rarer by far are movie mashups, because of the broad variety of skills required to pull them off convincingly. Today we present a crowning achievement by Fabrice Mathieu: Darth by Darthwest II.
This pair of short films is actually quite brilliant. A classic Alfred Hitchcock film, starring the legendary Cary Grant, is given the visual effects update treatment — not because it needs it, but because it’s a visual mashup that destiny could not deny.
Fabrice Mathieu is a visual effects artist and lighting consultant living and working in a town near Paris, France.. He’s also the creator of several fascinating short subjects – and of course, Darth by Darthwest. We saw the first installment in 2016 – now, four years later, the story continues.
Everything that could have been done to mash the the work of Hitchcock together with George Lucas’ epic space fantasy has been done. The empty fields in Indiana are now empty for a reason: there are sarlacc pits everywhere. Jawas and strange creatures inhabit the landscape. Luke Skywalker drops off C3PO, and the two of them are subjected to a strafing run, not by a biplane, but by a TIE fighter. It’s absolutely flawlessly executed. BB-8 makes an appearance, and there’s a surprise at the end you’re going to love.
In this exciting new sequel, Roger Thornhill (Grant) takes command of the Millenium Falcon and escapes a squadron of TIE fighters, despite being so drunk he’s seeing double – or perhaps because of it.
Cutting in footage and the original Alfred Hitchcock film North by Northwest, Mathieu makes us absolutely believe that Cary Grant was there on the set and part of the original Star Wars film. Even the scenes where he’s walking the decks of the Falcon are so meticulously matched in terms of camera tracking, travelling mattes, the color spaces, the compositing and lighting. There’s very little dialogue, nearly all the communication between Grant, C3PO, R2 and Chewbacca being nonverbal. This is masterful editing. Everything is seamless.
If Mathieu ever wanted to work with Lucasfilm, we can’t think of a better calling card. Enjoy!
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