It's likely that you've never heard of Paul "OtaKing" Johnson. But after you've seen what he can do, you're going to want to know more about him.
Johnson is an artist and animator who draws in an Anime style, with obvious influences from 1980s classics. The self-effacing artist seems to have a love for highly detailed line drawings and cel-shaded animation. And apparently, he's also a fan of Star Wars.
He decided to combine these two loves into a short film called Star Wars: TIE Fighter, a stunning tribute to the Empire's hotshot fighter pilots. The finished product is a seven-and-a-half minute jaw-dropper, filled with all the hallmarks of classic anime.
Long-pan shots, unusual angles, lots of close-ups of eyeballs, wild and crazy-colored hair... It's all here. Johnson says that it took him four long years to create the short, working on it on weekends. He describes its impetus:
"What if there was an Empire-focussed short Star Wars animation, drawn with the crazy detail and shading of classic 80s anime that's all but vanished from Japan nowadays?"
Sit back, kick up your feet, lower the lights and enjoy.
You probably noticed that there was no dialogue in the movie. Plenty of rock opera music and Star Wars sound effects, but no speech whatsoever. Don't take that to mean that these are generic, nondescript characters in an unknown situation. Proving how much thought he put into his film, Johnson also posted a nine-page, fully-illustrated PDF document that's free to download. It's loaded with full-color imagery and lengthy biographies for every character that appears in the film.
Ever the consummate artist, he made his own Drew Struzan-inspired movie poster, too.