Time is running out for Danish actor Shahbaz Sarwar’s Kickstarter project to raise 200,000 kroner to make a 45-minute pilot set in the Star Wars universe that he hopes he can use to persuade Disney to fund a five-season series.
Commence primary ignition?
With Lars Mikkelsen (‘House of Cards’, ‘Sherlock’) attached to the principally Danish project, hopes were high when the campaign was launched, but now Sarwar has just seven days in which to raise just over 155,000 kroner or face his project ending up like the planet of Alderaan.
To prevent a scenario in which “millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced”, backers are encouraged to fund the pilot, ‘Shrouded Destiny: A Star Wars Long Tale’, which Sarwar hopes to start shooting in September.
Set 500 years before the original 1977 movie, Sarwar asks potential backers to “imagine ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘The Raid’ movies and ‘The Wire’ wrapped in ‘Star Wars’” in a plot revolving discord in the Jedi Order and opportunistic bounty hunters.
A pilot as awesome as Han Solo
“Let me be blunt, there is no Star Wars project outside Disney/Lucasfilm that has the scope and ambition of this project,” contended Sarwar.
“We’re not looking to make a simple fan production that will help us get a little taste of Star Wars magic. We want to create Star Wars magic on an official basis. We make the first episode and Disney will make the rest! FINGERS CROSSED.”
Sarwar hopes an “awesome pilot episode” will “showcase [his team’s] vision, conviction and skill to Disney and Lucasfilm.”
The force is strong with this lot
Sarwar is confident his team can render a pilot fitting of Disney and Lucasfilm’s high standards, complete with spaceships and a massive bar fight scene, which promises to make good use of “Denmark’s most impressively beautiful nature”.
Faxe Kalkbrud (Faxe limestone quarry) in southern Denmark provided the backdrop for the opening scene in the trailer (see below).
As well as Mikkelsen, Sarwar has recruited the Danish cinematographer Daniel Stilling, whose recent credits include ‘The Martian’, as his director of photography, two-time Emmy nominee Troels Rohde Jørgensen as his sound designer, Joon Poore (‘Vikings’) as his stunt choreographer, and rising star Laûren Okadigbo to make the leap from stunt work to leading lady as a rogue Jedi (see trailer).
No dark side, only perks
The overall budget for the pilot is 800,000 kroner – 300 percent more than the Kickstarter goal, and Sarwar is upfront about why the target is so low.
“The reason we set the number ‘so low’ is because of the psychological effect. If we set the number low and get some big donations in quick, the donation bar fills up quicker,” he explained.
“If you walk past a restaurant that is full, you’ll be inclined to walk in and try it out, since so many others are doing the same. An empty restaurant and you’ll think that something fishy is up. We are not here to manipulate or lie to you.”
For pledges in excess of 10,000 kroner, perks include ‘Associate Producer’, ‘Producer’ and ‘Executive Producer’ credits on IMDB; custom-made hands, heads and costumes; and a day on set during filming.