Meet the Winners of the Star Wars Fan Awards 2018!

See all winning entries and learn how many were made in exclusive chats with their creators!

StarWars.com and The Star Wars Show are pleased to announce the winners of the Star Wars Fan Awards 2018! We received thousands of entries across four genres — Long Video, Short Video, Visual Art, and Photo — and were continually amazed at the incredible talent on display. Thank you and Wookiee hugs to all who participated!

Check out the most impressive winners below, including recipients of the Filmmaker Select chosen by Dave Filoni, and Audience Choice awards voted by fans on StarWars.com! And learn more about how these passion projects were made in exclusive interviews with many of this year’s esteemed award winners.

 

Genre: Long Video

WINNER: FILMMAKER SELECT & BEST COMEDY

More Machine Than Man by Mark G.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

I saw Star Wars for the first time when it was originally in theaters in 1977.  I was 11 years old. I’ve been all-in ever since. I remember seeing Return of the Jedi at the Thursday midnight special premiere screening where the ticket cost an outlandish $4.50. Star Wars was probably my primary inspiration for becoming a filmmaker myself. I learned everything I could about George Lucas, and even went to film school at USC on his example. I still maintain that original Star Wars is one of the greatest films of all time, in the same realm as Citizen Kane or Casablanca

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

I’ve had the idea for More Machine Than Man for years. Ever since we saw Obi-Wan Kenobi cut up Anakin and leave his roasting body for dead on that lava planet in Revenge of the Sith, we’ve known the REAL story behind all the things he told Luke about his father. Back in 1983, when Obi-Wan said Vader was “more machine now than man, twisted and evil” we never thought much about it. But seeing him dismembered, we now knew he had, among other things, robot arms and legs. He was LITERALLY more machine than man. And I though it was kind of cool that when making the original films, George Lucas must have had all that detail thought out that the casual viewer wouldn’t even think about.

Anyway, I thought about what Obi-Wan would have had to admit if Luke had pressed him for just a little more information. The actual story is so much more gruesome than the sugar-coated version we’ve had for years that it just struck me as funny. I mean, seriously! All he said was “He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader.”  He left out the key detail, “I cut off his arms and legs, let him catch fire, and left him for dead.”

I made my own Obi-Wan Kenobi costume from dyed curtain lining material. We shot on a green screen, and then I built a miniature set, about 2 feet by 2 feet to shoot for the backgrounds. I lit the model, blew in canned smoke, and photographed it on my kitchen table. The R2-D2 is the voice activated 13” R2 that I’ve had for years. The X-wing I bought off of eBay, and then dry-brushed it to weather the parts that would be visible. All the elements were shot separately and sandwiched together for the final shots. The most challenging effect was the Jedi ghost effect, which I made in Apple Motion. It needed to make me transparent and blue, but also glowing and sparkling around the edges. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.

What does winning mean to you?

It is a great honor to win the Best Comedy as well as the Filmmaker Select Award. Star Wars has been an important part of my life for over 40 years. It’s what made me want to be a filmmaker in the first place. And I’m delighted that people with an actual connection to the franchise are seeing and appreciating my work. Thank you so much.

 

WINNER: AUDIENCE CHOICE

Like My Father Before Me: A Star Wars Story by Jack C.

 

WINNER: BEST ANIMATION

The Kessel Run by Brian W.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

I saw Star Wars as a child when it first released in theaters. The very moment the Star Destroyer appears in the opening shot of A New Hope, I was hooked. At that time, science fiction movies were very cheesy with everyone wearing aluminum foil costumes. Star Wars was the first genre movie that felt like it took place in a real universe.

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

I wanted to do something with Star Wars characters that had not been overdone already. This is very difficult because there are already so many excellent Star Wars fan films out there. I wondered what characters had not had their own film yet, and I realized the dejarik pieces from the Millennium Falcon’s holochess board had never been given their due. I also thought they would be very fun to animate. It was, but I did not think about the fact that in most shots I would have to animate eight characters at once. It was a tremendous amount of work and I almost gave up several times, but the end result was worth it.

What does winning mean to you?

I am thrilled to win. There are a large number of excellent Star Wars fan films out there, some made by Hollywood professionals with high-end equipment. To stand out among the crowd is a great feeling of validation both as an animator and a Star Wars fan.

 

WINNER: BEST CHOREOGRAPHY & BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Exile: A Star Wars Fan Film by Noel B.

 

WINNER: SPIRIT OF FANDOM & BEST STOP MOTION

Star Wars: The Toys Awaken by Raymond M.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

I was born in 1974 and grew up with the original trilogy being a huge part of my formative years. Watching The Empire Strikes Back in the theater in 1980, and taking in Yoda’s wisdom and Vader’s galaxy-shattering revelation, made a lasting impression on me. I was hooked at that point and have been a lifelong fan since ever since. I didn’t realize it then, but my Star Wars fan creativity was in its beginning stages just after Return of the Jedi came out in theaters in 1983. I wrote two short stories complete with illustrations, naturally titled The Jedi Strike Back and Return of the Empire. I don’t think they were very good, but I was so proud to share them with my family.

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

The inspiration for my film goes back to 2012 when Disney announced it would purchase Lucasfilm and start making new Star Wars movies. After living for years with the reality that there would be no more Star Wars movies after Revenge of the Sith, this news re-ignited the fan in me. Being anxious for any and all Star Wars news, I checked StarWars.com daily and read that Lucasfilm would resurrect the Star Wars Fan Film Awards and present awards at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim in April 2015. I always had an interest in video production and had just switched careers from electrical engineering to running a freelance business in motion graphics and visual effects. I knew the Fan Film Awards would be the perfect opportunity to produce my first short film, share my fandom with the world, and actively participate in Star Wars Celebration (for which I already purchased a four-day pass). Because my excitement for Star Wars was at an all-time high, I wanted to produce a fan film about a fan whose toys come to life to help him out of a jam. I was fortunate enough to have my first fan film, Star Wars: A Toy Story, selected as a finalist and nominated for Best Visual Effects.

I was honored to be a finalist in 2015, but failing to win one of the coveted awards left me feeling incomplete. Falling short drove me to produce a film for the 2016 Star Wars Fan Film Awards. I wrote the script for Star Wars: The Toys Awaken in early 2016 and kicked off production in April. Ultimately the scope of the film was too wide, and I didn’t have enough time to complete the film before the deadline. I put it on hold and switched gears when I learned of Lucasfilm’s #GoRogue fan film contest leading up to the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I managed to complete a 2-minute film for the contest, The Rogue One: A Star Wars Toy Story, but unfortunately I fell short of winning once again.

Lucasfilm did not hold the Star Wars Fan Film Awards in 2017, but I eventually came back to The Toys Awaken late in 2017. I had gotten so many great people involved in my initial production effort (about 40 people for the movie theater scene from local fan groups Star Wars Steampunk Universe, San Diego Star Wars Society, and Science Fiction Coalition), I felt a responsibility to complete the film even in the absence of a Lucsafilm contest. By early 2018 I had completed a significant portion of the stop-motion animation. I had to put it on hold once again due to work commitments. But then this past summer I learned that Lucasfilm would hold the 2018 Star Wars Fan Awards. That announcement provided me the impetus to make the final push to complete the film.

The story is set on the opening day of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and tells the story of a young Star Wars fan whose toys come to life. The young fan, Riley, is played by my daughters Maliya and Nora, who are two and a half years apart in age. For the shots we filmed in April 2016, Maliya played the role of Riley. By the time we got around to completing production two and a half years later, she was too old for the role, so I had Nora, who was the right age, step in and complete the shots. I shot Nora so that we never see her face directly, and I only shot extreme close-ups of Maliya’s eyes when we needed shots of her face. The timing worked out perfectly. I’m so happy that it took three years to complete the film so that both Maliya and Nora could play significant roles in it. I’m ecstatic that we won two awards, but I’m even happier that this film has provided us with a very personal family experience that we’ll never forget.

What does winning mean to you?

Winning means everything to me. Having Lucasfilm officially recognize my work as a Star Wars fan is a tremendous honor. Having entered three Lucasfilm contests, I have seen how high the bar is, how talented the competition is, and how rare winning is. Being a finalist in 2015 and not winning, and having made three fan films to get to this point is extremely satisfying. It means even more to me that my daughters have been a part of this journey. I hope they see this as a life lesson that hard work and sticking with their passions can lead to positive outcomes even though the journey can be difficult.

 

Genre: Short Video

WINNER: FILMMAKER SELECT, BEST COMEDY, & BEST STOP MOTION 

Ice Cream To Go by Jordan G. and Cody G.

 

WINNER: AUDIENCE CHOICE

Vader: Misquoted by Jared H.

 

WINNER: BEST ANIMATION & BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

Grievous Versus Praetorians by Brian W.

 

WINNER: SPIRIT OF FANDOM

Simple Tricks and Nonsense by Jason Y.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

Star Wars has always been around in my life for as long as I can remember. My earliest memories consist of my family and I sitting around the TV watching the original trilogy together on VHS. My brother and I enjoyed scrapping together costumes from random items around the house and reenacting scenes from the films. We would spend countless hours playing with Star Wars action figures, and even made a few of our own fan videos with them.

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

As I was thinking about my entry for the Star Wars Fan Awards, I really wanted to capture the essence of my love and appreciation for Star Wars. Growing up, I loved collecting and playing with the toys available at the time. My love for collecting Star Wars toys continues today, which I get to share with my three children, who have become avid Star Wars fans in their own right.

For my entry I created a short video inspired by the original Kenner action figure TV commercials, but used modern action figures from the Black Series line that we collect together as a family. Needless to say, we had such a fun time creating the video together!

What does winning mean to you?

As a Star Wars fan, it is an incredible honor to be among this year’s winners of the Star Wars Fan Awards — I’m proud to represent the greatest fandom in the galaxy. Thank you for your votes and support, and as always, may the Force be with you!

 

WINNER: BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

A Close Call by Jared P.

 

Genre: Visual Art

WINNER: BEST IN SHOW & BEST POSTER ART

Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 winning photo recreation of the Star Wars: A New Hope poster using Black Series action figures.

A (Tiny) New Hope by Trevor W.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

I saw Star Wars the day it opened at a drive-in on my birthday (May 25th!) and as soon as Darth Vader walked through the door of the Tantive IV…I was hooked! I collected everything I could get my hands on and afford or I begged my parents for it. Action figures were, of course, always a part of that collection.

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

I’m a toy photographer on a semi-professional and hobby basis and try to do a big, iconic Star Wars shot every year. This year, I got my hands on the Hasbro full-size Vader helmet and it looked perfectly scaled to use with 6″ and 3.75″ figures to recreate the iconic Star Wars poster. I had to “redesign” (cut up and add pieces to) Leia’s dress to match the one in the illustration. Lighting and getting the fog just right probably took 150+ shots! Having it work as well as it did was worth all the effort though.

What does winning mean to you?

My work has been recognized before, but this is a BIG DEAL! Being recognized officially by the people at StarWars.com and Lucasfilm/Disney is a fan artist’s dream come true!

 

WINNER: AUDIENCE CHOICE & BEST DIGITAL ART

"Balance" Star Wars Fan Award winning painting of Rey and Kylo Ren.

Balance by Madison T.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

Honestly, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t a Star Wars fan. My older brother was already really into it by the time I was old enough to become interested in the films, so I grew up watching both the original trilogy and the prequels. In fact, my first Star Wars memory is crying because I wasn’t allowed to go see Attack of the Clones on its opening night. (I was only six at the time.) But when Revenge of the Sith came out three years later, I finally got to have the magical experience of seeing a Star Wars movie in theaters for the first time!

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

For me, the Force has always been the most fascinating element of the Star Wars universe. Its portrayal in the Mortis arc of The Clone Wars is especially beautiful, complex, and thought-provoking. It raises just as many questions as it does answers about what balancing the Force means, and about what the Force actually is as an entity. I love how the Father, Son, and Daughter represent certain aspects of the Force, and I think that is also the case with certain characters in the saga films. That is why I chose Rey and Ben Solo/Kylo Ren as the two characters I wanted in this piece. Light and dark, if you will.

Creating the final design of the composition was a long and difficult process. I started with a lot of sketches, and after narrowing the options down to a single idea, I began the process of digitally painting it. That design then went through several major alterations and transformations along the way. The composition I ended up with is quite different than what I originally imagined, but I think that it is stronger because of its numerous iterations. This is definitely one of the more difficult pieces I’ve ever worked on, but it is also one of the most rewarding.

What does winning mean to you?

To have my work recognized by fellow fans and by Lucasfilm’s panel of judges is an incredible honor for me. As an artist who is passionate about both my work and about Star Wars, seeing that people have responded so positively to the piece has been really wonderful. The sheer volume of support far surpassed what I ever could have expected, and I’m extremely grateful for and humbled by it. The Star Wars community truly is like a family, and I’ve never felt that more than during this process.

 

WINNER: BEST CUSTOM COSTUME

Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 winning Enfys Nest costume.

Enfys Nest Costume by Michaela M.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

I always kind of grew up watching Star Wars movies but I really got into it with The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. It’s become a family event; we all cosplay as different Star Wars characters together.

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

As soon as I saw the costume design for Enfys Nest I fell in love with it. Once I actually saw Solo, I knew I had to try making it.

The entire costume was a nonstop, 10-week project. The helmet alone took five of those weeks. It was easily the most complicated project I’ve ever undertaken. I spent hours researching details of the costume, some of which could only be seen on action figures of the character. I tried to create a screen-accurate costume, right down to the scuff marks. I also wanted to incorporate the working technology of the costume as much as possible. The electroripper staff, belt, and chest box all light up. I also built the vambraces to open and close on my arms, as well as a working voice changer in the helmet.

What does winning mean to you?

It’s an honor to have all my hard work be recognized by fans of the franchise. I originally created this costume as a personal project and a challenge to myself. The positive response has been overwhelming.

 

WINNER: BEST CUSTOM DIORAMA

Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 winning Forgotten AT-AT diorama.

Forgotten AT-AT by Mirko M.

 

WINNER: BEST CUSTOM FIGURE

Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 winning krayt dragon custom figure.

Krayt Dragon Action Figure by Brad H.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

It happened the moment my mom popped in the VHS of A New Hope. The gears of my young imagination were set in motion and there was no going back. Truly wonderful the mind of a child is.

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

The skeleton of the krayt dragon in the desert of Tatooine in Episode IV always caught my eye. It was one of the many blink-and-you-miss-it moments that has me re-watching Star Wars to this day. Growing up, very much alive and ferocious krayt dragons showed up in several video games I played. In the MMO Star Wars Galaxies, krayt hunting was a community event. Groups of eight or more players banded together to take down the massive beasts and claim the loot on the other side of victory. Years after regularly playing Galaxies, I was learning digital sculpting and looking for a challenging project to give myself. I found a screenshot I took in-game during a krayt hunt, and the fond memories fueled this project to completion.

What does winning mean to you?

Winning means a lot to me because I feel like I am contributing to the larger Star Wars community and getting to share my work on its biggest platform with people who will love the krayt dragon as much as I do.

 

WINNER: BEST PHYSICAL ART

Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 winning Kirie art with Rey and Kylo Ren.

切り絵:白と黒の共闘 (Kirie: Black and White Joined in Battle) by Yukiko K.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

Forty years ago, when I was a little child, I saw Star Wars for the first time. At that time, sci-fi animation was a fad in Japan, so I was interested in sci-fi. Space, robot, science, and future technology. I thought they were very cool! That’s why I was also interested in Star Wars. So I became a fan.

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

I saw the scene where Rey and Kylo Ren fight together against a common enemy in The Last Jedi. I came up with the idea of expressing their “shape” of the Force with white and black feathers.

What does winning mean to you?

My dream is for many people to know Japanese paper cutting art (called “Kirie”) and my Star Wars fan artwork.
I was chosen as a winner, so more people will see my Kirie artwork. That’s a very happy thing for me, and I was chosen as a finalist for the Audience Choice award. I’m so happy!

 

WINNER: BEST TRADITIONAL ART

Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 winning illustration of Darth Maul.

Darth Maul Drawing by Justin M.

 

Genre: Photo

WINNER: BEST IN SHOW & BEST FAMILY PORTRAIT

Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 winning family photo.

Rey, BB-8, & Chewbacca on Jakku by Brianna E.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

I don’t remember the exact moment because I grew up on Star Wars. Even my first celebrity crush as a kid was Harrison Ford. Star Wars has always been a classic to me, a series of movies you can watch over and over again, in different orders, and never tire of.

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

My children are my biggest inspiration, so combining the love for my children, my dog, photography, and Star Wars seemed like a no-brainer!

What does winning mean to you?

Winning means so much to me! I’ve never won anything for any of my photography. And for my first two awards to be for one of my favorite pictures I’ve ever taken, it really warms my heart.

 

WINNER: AUDIENCE CHOICE

Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 Audience Choice award winner photo of a father (dressed as Rex) and his daughter (dressed as Rey).

Rex and Baby Rey Family Portrait by Isaiah T.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

I have been a HUGE Star Wars fan for my entire life! For as long as I can remember. The original trilogy was basically playing all day long in my house. One of my favorite Star Wars memories was going to see the midnight showing of The Phantom Menace on opening night! I just remember sitting there, hearing the music and seeing the text crawl on the big screen for the first time! Gives me chills just thinking about it! Star Wars was a huge part of my childhood and remains a huge part of my life. It’s so awesome to be able to share my passion for it with my own children now!

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

My entry for the Star Wars Fan Awards happens to be a shot taken on Halloween with my daughter and me. I was dressed as one of my favorite characters, Captain Rex. She was her most favorite, Rey. We decided to have a little photo shoot in the backyard and my wife was able to snap this perfect shot! If you know our daughter, then you know it is no easy task getting her to stay still for a picture. This moment snapped in time will be one of my most cherished memories for the rest of my life.

What does winning mean to you?

Winning this award, especially the Audience Choice award, is so humbling and incredible! To have this picture chosen by other Star Wars fans amongst so many other amazing shots is such an honor! We just want to take the opportunity to again thank everyone who voted for us! We are so grateful and appreciative! Thank you also to Star Wars and Disney for the amazing opportunity! May the Force be with you always!

 

WINNER: FUNNIEST

Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 winning photo of Ewok figures looking at a real chicken.

You Think This Is Weird…Wait Till You See the Egg by Aaron A.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

The way I became a Star Wars fan is the reason why I still love it today — it’s a chance to just relax and get drawn into a world where the stress of everyday life can’t get to me. With my two young children we can enjoy it together, and they have the opportunity to experience the fun and adventure that caught my attention all those years ago.

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

To just try to be a part of the fantastic Star Wars universe. It’s been such a big part of my life since I was young and the opportunity to have my name attached to even a little piece of it was my main focus. Like nearly every Star Wars fan out there I have my own movie and creative ideas floating around my head and to have a way to express that with like-minded fans is incredible.

What does winning mean to you?

Winning a Star Wars Fan Award is such a great moment, it’s going to be an awesome way to show my children that you can achieve things if you just put yourself out there and try.

 

WINNER: BEST ORIGINAL CONCEPT & BEST STAR WARS FOOD PRESENTATION

Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 winning Nien Nunb salad.

Nien Nunb Prosciutto Salad by Atsuko W.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

I have been watching the movies since I was a little, but I think that I have gradually understood [it more] deeply since becoming an adult. Now my son is a Star Wars, fan so we enjoy it together.

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

All the materials of the work are familiar. Work was done in the kitchen with chopsticks, kitchen scissors, and petty knife. I shot it using a smartphone on the dining table.

After shooting, I ate everything.

What does winning mean to you?

My dream is to have work on the Star Wars website, so I’m very happy.

 

WINNER: BEST PET PHOTO

Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 winning photo of a dog dressed as a porg.

A Dog Hope by Kazuya O.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

I saw Episode IV at a movie theater as a child. Since then, I’ve been a Star Wars fan.

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

I love Episode VIII’s interaction between Chewbacca and the porg. So the idea was that I wanted my dog to interact with a porg.

What does winning mean to you?

Of course, this honor is a treasure of a lifetime. Thank you very much. It may be an exaggeration, but I feel like a part of Star Wars history.

 

WINNER: BEST SCENE-INSPIRED

Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 winning photo of a Rey action figure called "Scavenger."

Scavenger by Carlo V.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

I was introduced to Star Wars when I was around five years old by my dad and grandad, who are huge fans. I would sit and watch the original trilogy with them on the weekends and they would also encourage me to collect action figures. Star Wars turned into a sort of family tradition, and now I share it with my own family.

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

Rey was the main inspiration for my photo. My hobby is action figure photography and I build all of my sets from scratch using recycled materials, pretty much the same way Rey scavenges for parts. It just felt right for me to take that concept and recreate with an action figure.

What does winning mean to you? 

It validates my hard work and passion for the 3.75” line of toys that I have loved and cherished since I was a child. Having my art recognized publicly is surreal and makes me very grateful and encourages me to keep on sharing my work with this community of fans and creators who have inspired us since we were kids.

 

WINNER: BEST THROWBACK

Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 winner - vintage photo of a young Star Wars fan opening toys.

Vintage Joy: In Between Star Wars and Disney by Adam M.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

The Empire Strikes Back is the first film I remember seeing in a theater, and it remains my favorite film of all time. I have a weird memory of staring into the mirror and attempting to fast forward time so I could know if Vader REALLY was Luke’s father or not. It didn’t work.

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry?

I have a glass case where I keep a few of my childhood Star Wars toys on display, and this photo of me at age five sits atop the case. While there are plenty other vintage photos of me with various Star Wars memorabilia, I’ve always felt this one was particularly special. You can see how filled with joy I am, and the connection of Star Wars and joy has never dissipated for me.

What does winning mean to you?

It seems preposterous, to be honest. I know there were many, many equally deserving entries. I just happened to be really happy in a photograph.

Watch The Star Wars Show‘s Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 special below!

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