Directed by Tom Long and produced by Tom and Ross Joseph, Heroes of the Empire manages to convey all of that care and effort into its 60 minute running time. A tricky task, taking something that on the face of it could be perceived by many as a trivial past time, to illustrate that the hobby is far from that but something that enriches our society by bringing smiles to people’s faces and putting money in charities pockets.
On RADIO 1138 we regularly chat to members of the UKG about their latest troops and charity endeavours and many of those faces are represented here. Rightfully protective of their image and the public perception of the garrison, the UKG were cautious heading into this project but were right to be judicious as their choice of Speechless Films was the right one.
The documentary confidently balances the more emotional and challenging aspects of the UKG’s work, heading in to hospital wards and trooping at funerals, with the joyous experience of marching at The Force Awakens premiere. It would be easy to be overly sentimental, too flippant or too serious, but Heroes of the Empire finds the balance and presents an honest and heart-warming piece that is essential viewing for any 501st member or lover of the saga.
Bad guys can do good, this film is proof of that, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Distribution is being negotiated right now and fingers crossed the documentary sees its release as soon as possible, because people need to see this.