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The Formula (2002)

Video  |   |  Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi  |  1 June 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 78 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 3 critic

Four geeks attempt to make a Fan-produced Star Wars film, and the director quickly makes things miserable from the stress.

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Title: The Formula (Video 2002)

The Formula (Video 2002) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Credited cast:
Chris Hanel ...
Thomas Harrison
Abe Peterka ...
Justin Whitlock ...
Rebecca Peterka ...
James Kropa ...
James / Greedo
Michael Mulherin ...
Chad Canfield ...
Boba Fatt
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Erik Boettcher ...
Prank Jedi
Zachary Canfield ...
Young Jedi
Chris Hodge ...
Excalibur Clerk
Menthol's Victim


It is a time of summer vacation. Tom "Servo" Harrison, a die hard Star Wars nerd, and his friends, decide to start work on a Star Wars fanfilm. Whether the film will be the highlight of their career or the breaking of their friendship remains to be seen. Parodying "Star Wars", "High Fidelity", "Jaws", "Fight Club", and "The Matrix", "The Formula" remains one of the most professional fanfilms on the web. Written by doggans

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


CUT TO: EXT. FOREST - Been there. Done that. See more »


Action | Comedy | Sci-Fi



Official Sites:



Release Date:

1 June 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Formula: Enriched  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$2,500 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The first trailer released to promote the film was a separately scripted short film with no footage or relation to the actual feature, outside of using the same actors and general characters. In reality, the trailer was made as the cast and crew had never worked together and wanted to make sure they were capable of producing an entertaining film. The trailer was edited, released, and earning positive reactions before any work on the feature was started. See more »


James: Star WARS? You dare to ask a Trekkie to work cross-religions on a project in celebration of the Force? Blasphemy.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Greedo as himself See more »


References Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

Clever and funny mockumentary full of target-audience references
16 July 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Star Wars: Bond of the Force is Tom's dream, using cash that he gained from a couple of unfortunate Trekkies. However after months of unpaid work all he and his friends have to show for it is a month of rubbish footage, bad performances and nothing solid. Depressed about the whole project and unsure if he is depressed because he watches Star Wars or he watches Star Wars because he is depressed, Tom thinks back to the beginnings of the film, the planning stage, the plotting and the obstacles they have had to overcome to get to where they now are – and how he can go anywhere from there.

Opening with a bit of the fan film that the characters in this film are trying to make, this mockumentary is a very funny and enjoyable film that will appeal to the sort of viewers who download fan films and watch similar films to the makers. The plot is simple enough but the simple "making of" is mixed well with the creative process (or a spoof of) and even good special effects at points as well. The film is partly quite fresh and clever but it is also hard to ignore how many things have influenced it to the point of being a near copy of other things – Woody Allen is certainly the formative influence for the first "real" scene. Fortunately for most of the film the references are cleverly done and funny – Usual Suspects, Matrix, Star Wars (of course) and even other fan films are referenced and they are mainly very funny and cleverly done, it manages to avoid the tiresome effect that some films can have where they just reference without any effort, uniqueness or care. The writing of the film is very good in other regards too and this can be seen by just how convincing it is as a documentary, Hanel and Phelan did a great job.

The acting from the amateurs is roundly impressive as well. None of them are asked to do anything that special but they come off natural when playing "themselves" but they also carry the spoof sections well without ever coming across as wooden as some performances in other fan films. Overall this may not be a "Star Wars" film in the same way as other fan films but this greatly exceeds many of them because it is funny, clever and well done. It helps if you have the same sense of humour but I think if you've bothered to download this then you probably have and you'll probably enjoy it as much as I did.

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