Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images
- A YouTube channel posted a clip of a fake “Star Wars” episode directed by Wes Anderson.
- It’s one of many AI trailers that have been popping up online.
- It features hallmarks of Anderson’s cinematic style but features characters like Darth Vader.
If you’ve felt a disturbance in the Force, it’s probably because AI-generated commercials and trailers are flooding the internet — including a Wes Anderson Star Wars trailer.
Anderson — known for light-hearted and offbeat humor, quirky characters, and his hallmark cinematic symmetry — would probably never be called to direct a “Star Wars” movie. Still, a new fan-made AI trailer imagines such a scenario.
The trailer, made for a fake new episode titled “The Galactic Menagerie,” was posted by the YouTube channel Curious Refuge, which features couple Shelby and Caleb Ward, who often post professional tips and tech tutorials, and an AI’s best attempt at being Wes Anderson.
“This summer, Wes Anderson brings you a side of the Star Wars universe that you’ve never seen before: ‘The Galactic Menagerie,'” the narrator says in the video. “Join this ragtag crew of unlikely heroes as they navigate the absurdity of the cosmos, challenge the empire, and redefine what it means to be a rebel.”
“Our mission is simple,” one fake rebel then says. “We steal the emperor’s artifact, save the galaxy, and maybe find ourselves along the way.”
The trailer features other Anderson staples, like bold Futura font on screen, pastel pink Stormtroopers, lots of hard stares into the camera, and a star-studded cast of frightening, not-so-convincing AI celebs like Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, and Owen Wilson saying “Wow” under a Darth Vader mask.
In an email interview with Insider, Caleb Ward said that every aspect of the video, even the concept, descriptions, and video tags, was created by AI.
“The project began as a fun personal experiment exploring the potential of AI for filmmaking, but the video seems to have sparked a broader conversation about the role of AI in Hollywood,” Ward said. “Many people, particularly fans, appear to be excited about the creative potential of AI and its ability to democratize creativity.’
The fan-made edit currently has over half a million views on YouTube and even caught the attention of one of Anderson’s stars, Jared Gilman, who starred in his 2012 film “Moonrise Kingdom.” Gilman asked that everyone liking the trailer “go see asteroid city,” a new Anderson film set to hit theaters June 16.
—Jared Gilman (@realJaredGilman) April 30, 2023
“I have been genuinely shocked by the internet’s reaction to the video,” Ward told Insider. “I never would have thought that a fan project like this would receive the exposure it has. It seems that the video’s release was perfectly timed, as Wes Anderson, Star Wars, and AI have all been points of cultural conversation recently.”
Ward said that some online have criticized the video for being “too static or lifeless, especially when compared to an actual Wes Anderson film, which is a fair point.”
“At this stage, a guy on a laptop can’t create AI content that matches the quality of Wes Anderson,” Ward said. “He is a genius, and I am merely a fan who wanted to see what his style would look like when combined with one of my favorite franchises.”
Following the release of AI video generators like Runway AI, fan-made AI edits like this commercial for a fake pizzeria have captivated and confused people online — mostly for their off-putting and soulless nature.
Pizza Later, the YouTuber behind the fake pizza commercial, told Insider he predicted that people would make whole shows out of video-generating tools. “All I have to do is ask it to create a 30-minute episode of my favorite show or an episode of ‘Friends’ that never existed before,” he said.
Representatives for Anderson and Lucasfilms did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.