04 June, 2012
Star Wars: Revenge of the GIF
ABOVE: The poster for the short second online run.
Year - 2005
Format: - Animated GIF
Aspect Ratio - Multi-Aspect within a 5:3 frame
Runtime - 3 Minutes 15 Seconds
Premiere - 19th May, 2005, dejha.co.uk (webspace by xthost.info)
On the 4th August, 2004 (at 20:32 GMT fact fans) I made a post on the Galactic Senate message board. I know this because I've just looked it up by trawling through the archives. At the time the main thing people were talking about was the forthcoming DVD release of Episodes IV-VI and the changes to the films that were being made. I joked that a goof that featured Darth Vader waving his arm about, whilst not saying anything would be fixed and included an animated GIF that added a yo-yo in to his hand.
I'd long been a fan of the crude animation style of animated GIF's and enjoyed finally making one myself. I'd have to make some more. Only I didn't. Not until the following year.
On the 21st April, 2005 (at 12:11 GMT fact fans) I made a post on the Galactic Senate message board. I know this because I've just looked it up by trawling through the archives. At the time the main thing people were talking about was the forthcoming theatrical release of 'Revenge of the Sith'. As well as the trailers a lot of images had been released for the film and lots of TV spots were released too. Seeing a chance to make another animated GIF, I used some of this imagery to create an alternative humorous ending.
This brief clip was all I intended to do, but then I noticed people seemed to really like it. Furthermore the board's own stats showing the number of people who clicked on the clip kept going up and up. I then decided that I would expand it to be a short humorous version of the 'Revenge of the Sith' story - which I was familiar with, having read the novelisation and screenplay. So in my free time I started constructing the film using whatever suitable imagery I could find, intending to get it online before the film it was based on came out.
Which I almost managed. The film was completed 18th May, 2005 (one day before) and I set up a special mini-site that contained the following warning:
ROTG is (loosely) based on the story and imagery of STAR WAS - EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH. If you haven't yet seen the film, which at the time of writing is very likely, viewing this animation may spoil some of it for you.
Except the file, which ended up consisting of 400 frames and was 20.3MB in size, failed to upload. I tried again and again but it just didn't work. The following day (the same day Revenge of the Sith was released) I split it in to two parts and this time I was able to upload it. Although there were links to view it online, I recommended that people with slow internet connections download it first and then
watch it. Two days later I was able to replace the two parts with the full clip.
The first online run, ran from 19th May, 2005 until 18th June, 2005 when the site for some unknown reason stopped working. I then made a poster to promote a second online run "Showing for a limited time only". This second run--only a few days after the first had ended--ran from 21st June, 2005 until 2nd July, 2005.
Later in the year I decided that as a tie-in with the forthcoming DVD release of 'Revenge of the Sith' I'd make a ROTG DVD. Well make the relevant files that people would have to download and burn to disc themselves. On 25th October, 2005 I wrote a text commentary for the film and the following day I converted this in to a MPEG2 file and created the menu, which I made slight modifications to the next day. Yet another day later I converted the film itself into a MPEG2 file, using the uncompressed frames for a better image quality. The DVD was completed later that day. At which point I decided I wouldn't make it available as it'd probably be better if I just put it on a DVD of various short films instead.
In 2007 I decided I would add the film to YouTube. After several attempts throughout May it finally appeared on the 31st.
Originally posted: 31st May, 2007