Astartes: A Warhammer 40,000 Fan Film

In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war… and awesome fan films.

The fifth and final episode of Astartes, a fan film project inspired by the Warhammer 40,000 tabletop game, was released earlier this week. And like the previous episodes, it’s an impressive piece of work — even if you’re unfamiliar with Warhammer 40,000.

(For the uninitiated, Warhammer 40,000 is set in the 41st millennium where humanity’s galactic empire is in slow decline due to constant warfare with alien threats and the demonic, otherworldly forces of Chaos. The game is completely over-the-top — it inspired the term “grimdark,” after all — but its lore is also deep and fascinating. If you enjoy stories about chaos gods, space elves and orcs, and 8-foot-tall armor-clad Space Marines wielding plasma pistols and chainsaw swords, that is.)

The Astartes short films were created by a single person, animator Syama Pedersen (interview), which makes the series’ incredible attention to detail and animation quality all the more impressive. And though the series — which ends on quite the cliffhanger — is concluded, Pedersen hopes to continue making more Warhammer 40,000-inspired videos. No doubt that when that happens, they’ll be similarly impressive.

Within the last year or so, Games Workshop (the creators of Warhammer 40,000) has announced several adaptations, including a live-action TV series. Methinks they should partner with Pedersen, too. The man’s obviously proven himself capable of turning out quality work all on his own. Just imagine what he could do with some official backing.