Hartlepool college’s Star Wars movie offers New Hope for career change

Writer & Director Gary Kester (centre) with, L-R, Simon Porteus, doubling for Mark Taylor as TK421, Phillipa Stephenson as a Jawa, Nigel Jukes as Emperor Palpatine and Hartlepool College IAG Leader Mark Lee, who plays himself in the movie.

Writer & Director Gary Kester (centre) with, L-R, Simon Porteus, doubling for Mark Taylor as TK421, Phillipa Stephenson as a Jawa, Nigel Jukes as Emperor Palpatine and Hartlepool College IAG Leader Mark Lee, who plays himself in the movie.

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The Force is strong with Hartlepool College of Further Education’s latest movie showcase.

‘The Course Awakens’ tells the story of a Star Wars stormtrooper who feels undervalued and turns to the college to try out a variety of different skills.

The film was written, directed and filmed by the college’s creative director Gary Kester, 48.

He saaid: “I saw Star Wars: A New Hope as a 10-year old when it first came out, and I’ve loved the original trilogy ever since.

“In fact, they’re the reason I went into art and design.”

Gary was inspired by the trailers for the new movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which opens on December 15, and shows how the Rebel Alliance obtained the plans for the Death Star.

TK421 tried his hand at hairdressing!

TK421 tried his hand at hairdressing!

“The trailers show that stormtroopers still exist mostly to get beaten or blown up, or just walk around a lot,” said Gary.

“I thought they must get a bit cheesed off about that, and started to think about what jokey things they could find themselves doing if they tried out the various courses the college offers.”

Head of student recruitment Shaun Hope gave him the green light to bring in members of charity fan group the 99th Garrison, who donated their fee to charity.

Garrison member Nigel Jukes said: “When Gary showed us the script and a storyboard, we knew we wanted to be involved. Despite it being a parody there was total love and respect for the movies, with nearly every line being a quote or paraphrase from actual dialogue, and loads of sight gags.

Even if you’re not a Star Wars fan and don’t get all the references it’s still funny to see a Stormtrooper doing all this crazy stuff in our world.

Nigel Jukes

“But even if you’re not a Star Wars fan and don’t get all the references, it’s still funny to see a stormtrooper doing all this crazy stuff in our world.”

To see the film log onto the Mail’s website at www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk

One of the visual effects created by Gary to give the film an authentic Star Wars feel.

One of the visual effects created by Gary to give the film an authentic Star Wars feel.

Mark Taylor as TK421, with HCFE Production Arts Sophie Bromage (left) and Hayley Barnes, who created a special makeup effect for one of the films many sight gags.

Mark Taylor as TK421, with HCFE Production Arts Sophie Bromage (left) and Hayley Barnes, who created a special makeup effect for one of the films many sight gags.

Stormtrooper TK421 explains to the Colleges Student Advice team that he feels a bit anonymous at work.

Stormtrooper TK421 explains to the Colleges Student Advice team that he feels a bit anonymous at work.