Since the debut of the first STAR WARS film in 1977, George Lucas’ outer space adventures of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Chewbacca have become a huge part of pop culture, a series that has not only won billions of fans around the world but has also inspired young filmmakers to create their own epic sci-fi tales. In the new animated web series LEG FOR LUCAS, written and produced by Tom Hoover and directed by Chris Emmons, the show’s protagonist, Phil (played by Pete Westwood), a STAR WARS fanboy turned aspiring screenwriter, has his own concept for a larger than life big screen space epic, and he’s convinced that the only person who can bring his story to life is the man behind the movies that inspired him – George Lucas. In fact, Phil will go to great lengths to get the legendary filmmaker to back his project, so much so that he’s willing to go out on a limb – literally – by cutting off his leg to get his attention.
LEG FOR LUCAS premiered last December with a five episode first season which ran through this summer, and also stars Brett Mouchard in multiple voice roles as both Phil’s boss Angel and as Phil’s dad. The idea for LEG FOR LUCAS was initially developed as a feature length movie, but Hoover and Emmons decided to test their story as a web series.
“Tom asked me to write the script for the feature length live action LEG FOR LUCAS, and we decided this web series was a good way to get the idea out there before the film,” Emmons says. “Several versions (were) sent back and forth between Tom and I of every episode until we thought everything was good, then we’d send it over to the composer (Zaalen Tallis, who Hoover says is a “rising star among emerging composers”) with notes,” he says.
As befitting a low budget production, the two creators made the most of a small but talented group of actors, animators and others who helped to get the series off the ground. “The artwork was done by the ever-steady Jon Nielsen, who has a knack for creating warm and humorous artwork. Animators Isaac Sagastume and Drew Clark contributed to the animation. Anthony Cupo and Vanessa Carmona are the producers of the film version of this project,” Hoover says. In addition, several friends of Hoover and Emmons volunteered to record their voices for other characters in the series.
LEG FOR LUCAS seeks to appeal to audiences with its own unique brand of humor, according to Hoover. “Though seemingly anchored in Star Wars, I think the web series has the potential of appealing to a wide sweep of viewers who are currently surfing the pop culture wave of comic book movies, retro films and television shows, Adult Swim and more. Basically everyone except Star Trek: Voyager fans,” he says.
“It has a combination of dry humor, heart, and fun pop culture references that seem to make it all click. This is particularly evident in the final three installments where I feel we found our rhythm with the show,” Hoover says. Yet, the show also hopes to portray a side of “fanboys” that’s rarely seen – one not just of fervent enthusiasm for movies like STAR WARS, but also of the bittersweet reality of growing older, and of realizing that childhood dreams don’t always come true. Says Hoover: “Simply put – there is something distinctly sad about those of us who grow older and begin to realize that our dreams will never be realized as we had once hoped. This show – and eventual film – is about choosing to find an alternative path for what makes us happy. Granted, we (Hoover and Emmons) don’t condone taking the course that Phil has chosen, but that is the dark comedy aspect meant to send the message home.”
ON THE WEB: www.legforlucas.com