Darth Vader "Shards of the Past" Star Wars Fan Film Controversy

Darth Vader "Shards of the Past" Star Wars Fan Film Controversy

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Updated Jan 17, 2019 at 03:28PM EST by 3kole5.

Added Jan 17, 2019 at 10:45AM EST by Matt.

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Darth Vader "Shards of the Past" Star Wars Fan Film Controversy refers to a copyright dispute between Disney, who owns the rights to the Star Wars film franchise, and YouTuber Star Wars Theory, who created a fan film focused on the Star Wars character Darth Vader.


On December 21st, 2018, YouTuber Star Wars Theory released the video "VADER EPISODE 1: SHARDS OF THE PAST – A STAR WARS THEORY FAN-FILM." Within one month, the video received more than 7.2 million views (shown below).


On January 14th, Star Wars Theory tweeted [1] a screenshot of an email from YouTube that Disney and Warner Chappell had claimed ownership of the music in the video, which sounded similar to composer John Williams' theme for Darth Vader The Imperial March. The tweet received more than 730 retweets and 3,400 likes (shown below, left).

That day, the Star Wars Theory creator Toos uploaded a video of himself explaining the situation. In the video, he states that he received permission from LucasFilm, the creators and producers of Star Wars, to make the fan film so long as he did not monetize. He agreed. The video originally did not play with advertisements, costing him "$80,000." Additionally, he claims that he hired a composer to compose original music for the film based on the music of Star Wars.

Star Wars Theory @SWTheory66 Follow ) ﹀ Thanks Disney Super nice of you Hi Star Wars Theor)y, A copyright owner using Content ID claimed some material in your video. This is just a heads up Don't worry. You're not in trouble and your account standing is not affected by this There are either ads running on your video, with the revenue going to the copyright owner, or the copyright owner is receiving stats about your video's views Video title: VADER EPISODE 1 SHARDS OF THE PAST A STAR WARS THEORY FAN-FILM Cnnurinhtad rnntant. IMPER1Δ!

Online Reaction

On January 15th, Redditor [2] YoutubeArchivist posted the video regarding the dispute in the /r/videos subreddit. Within two days, the post received more than 110,000 views (86% upvoted) and 3,900 comments.

That day, many on Twitter called for a boycott of Disney, particularly 2019's Star Wars: Episode IX. Many argued that the advertisements that profit Disney should be removed and that the YouTuber should be given an apology (examples below).

Its Boycott Disney Time redd.it/ag7dua Disney claims Star Wars Theory's fan film Strike me down, and I will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine." 13 @starwars BOYCOTT BOYCOTT BOYCOTT HOW DARE YOU GO AFTER STAR WARS THEORY YOUTUBE CHANNEL YOU RATS DO YOU EVEN CARE ABOUT YOUR FANS OR JUST MAKING MORE MONEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY Y? #StarWarsTheory Yesterday was the day Star Wars Died for me. Unless Disney and Lucasfilm publicly apologize to Youtuber Star Wars theory for what they did to him, i must insists we the fans boycott Star Wars The Day Star Wars Died! My Message To Disney and Lucasf.. After what Disney did to Star Wars Theory yesterday, Without a public apology from Disney anytime soon, i of all people must insists that we the fans boycott. youtube.com

LucasFilm Interference

On January 16th, Star Wars Theory posted a video entitled "LUCASFILM STEPS IN! ORDERS THEM TO REMOVE CLAIM! JUSTICE!!" In the video, he explains that Lucasfilm reached out to Disney and Warner Chappell to take the claim down. The video received more than 620,000 views in 24 hours.

Media Coverage

Several media outlets covered the controversy, including The Daily Dot, [3] Movieweb[4] and more.

Search Interest

External References

Recent Videos 3 total

Recent Images 4 total

Top Comments


This just seems like Disney being a little too trigger happy with copyright claims. Nothing to see here except more of Disney being out of touch and not knowing anything about where to step in or out of Lucasfilms business. Still not great, but just another thing to put onto the "Disney has no idea what to do with Star Wars" pile.

Chris the Lovable Jerk
Chris the Lovable Jerk

in reply to Kenaron

Sales aren't as constant anymore. Solo bombed and the toy sales are floundering, Star Wars toys were among the most returned item this holiday season.

And if you think Holdo having pink hair was why people hated TLJ… I can't even think of anything to respond to that, her hair color had nothing to do with the fact that she was an awful character who shouldn't have been there in the first place and was only stealing screentime from Leia and characters we actually wanted to see. And there are SO many reasons to dislike that film that have nothing to do with Holdo herself.


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