The “Star Wars Gangsta Rap” started out as a song, written by Jason Brannon and Chris Crawford, with vocals by Brannon, drum machine by Crawford and Leonard, and keyboard by Brian Leonard. The group billed themselves as Bentframe.
During the Golden age of the Flash Animations, animator Thomas Lee discovered the rap in 2000 and used it as a basis to practice his developing
Macromedia Adobe Flash skills.
This became the first (and most widely seen) version of the video. Bentframe and Thomas Lee together formed BentTV.
Due to the project’s success, BentTV later created an improved version, referred to as the Special Edition, which debuted at the 2004 Official Star Wars Fan Film Awards. The audio track was not changed, but the visuals were completely redrawn, with improved color and shading and more detailed motion, all while emulating the relevant scenes in the movies more closely and adding more. The improvement in animation is analogous to Industrial Light & Magic’s 1997 Special Edition film touch-ups.
The Star Wars Gangsta Rap is one of the most popular flash videos of all time. Accordingly, it was awarded the Audience Choice at the 2002 Star Wars Fan Film Awards
Star Wars Gangsta Rap spawned two sequels, the first, more common Star Wars Gangsta Rap 2 which is profanity-laced and explicit, poking fun at several characters from the original trilogy as well as Jar-Jar Binks, involving Stormtroopers going on strike at an Imperial base. It’s exact origin is unknown. Star Wars Gangsta Rap Chronicles was released In November 2009, which was billed by BentTV as the ‘true’ sequel, featuring solos by Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, a Storm Trooper, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Lando Calrissian, Obi-Wan Kenobi, C-3PO, Jabba the Hutt and Yoda. Again, it features a myriad of scenes from the original trilogy, with no references made to the prequels (aside a line by Obi-Wan.)