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By Stina Chyn | July 24, 2004

What I love about going to the movie theatre is watching the previews. I like it more than the film I paid to see. These days, however, I’m getting much more than previews…in a bad way. Not only is there a very loud segment called The Twenty, but there are also extremely unfunny commercials, and the trailers even last longer than is necessary. If ads have to be shown (for business purposes), why not put on some quality ones? Theatres nationwide should start with Pat Kerby’s short piece “Star Wars Part Dew: Essence of the Force.”

Running less than seven minutes, “Essence of the Force” is a spoof of the “Star Wars” prequels and makes for a great Mountain Dew commercial. In Kerby’s short, the planet of Doozadu is attacked by Mewey Maul (Steve Sharp), who wants to steal the essence of the Force. Naturally, neither Mewey nor his gang of thieves can leave the planet without putting up a fight with a Jedi knight (Thomas DuPont). Choreographed by the actors themselves (DuPont and Sharp), the fight sequences, which include the clashing of light sabers, fists, and feet, are very well performed and shot.

Some directors might be more than willing to take most if not all the credit in making a film, but Kerby emphasizes that “Essence of the Force” is the product of the efforts of several artists and technicians from the Las Vegas area. From conception to completion, preproduction to post-production, Kerby cannot express his gratitude enough for the wonderful work. In fact, he explains in the DVD’s behind-the-scenes featurette that his cast and crew ended up saving the film a number of times.

What makes “Essence of the Force” such a joy to watch isn’t the way it parodies George Lucas’s films, rather it is in the moment when you realize that it really would’ve been a terrific Mountain Dew ad. And, if commercials must be played, there isn’t a better one to go with than “Star Wars Part Dew.”

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