All About Japan

Star Wars vs. Robotech?

Anime Video Star Wars Macross

Ever wish you could see the mad detail of ‘80s anime with with the fluidity of modern frame rates? Professional animator Paul Johnson felt the same—and upped the ante by bringing in merciless TIE fighters and a few all-barrels-blazing Star Destroyers.

TIE Fighter: The (Short) Movie

Known on YouTube as OtaKing77077, Johnson didn’t go to Kickstarter of GoFundMe to get backing for this incredible project: He just spent his down time churning out image after image over four years, doing paid animation during the day while he worked on his hobby project at night.

In the seven-and-a-half minute short, an Imperial probe droid scouts out a Rebel fleet, leading to a brutal flanking maneuver by a crack team of TIE pilots working with a fluidity that recalls Max and Miriya Stirling’s missile-mad dogfights in Robotech.

Good Geekery Interview

Johnson discussed his surprise at his work’s popularity on the Good Geekery podcast, where he was joined by Zak Rahman, who provided the short’s guitar-laden soundtrack.

2 Million On A Leak

An unfinished version of TIE Fighter got 2 million views when it was leaked to YouTube in September 2012, after Johnson shared his work on 4chan’s Mecha forum for feedback. The sound was added by uploader Joseph Leyva, who not only received Johnson’s seal of approval for the upload, but even went on to provide the sound effects and mixing for the full version.