Axel Braun presents Star Wars XXX.

The ‘Star Wars’ Porn Sequel That Never Was

The Empire Strikes Back (1980) ends with one of the most famous cliffhangers in film history.

Porn’s Star Wars XXX (2011) ended with an implicit one of its own: when would the sequel be released? Part one was, after all, one of the most popular porn movies of all time, earning bestseller status, a shelf full of awards, and Adult Empire’s 2012 Porn Movie of the Year designation.

Unfortunately, while Return of the Jedi (1983) gave narrative closure to the mainstream Star Wars franchise, Axel Braun’s porn Star Wars saga never got past the first act.

How did The Empire Strikes Back XXX, once as seemingly as sure-fire a hit as bulls-eyeing a womp rat, de-materialize like a Force ghost on the planet Hoth?

Star Wars porn sequel buzz

Save big on Star Wars XXX and many more!

Talk of a follow-up began almost immediately after Star Wars XXX rocketed to the top of bestseller lists and award podiums.

When director Axel Braun three-peated as AVN Director of the Year in January 2013, he spoke of upcoming projects, including Empire Strikes Back XXX: “Can you feel the pressure? Now I’m going to have to seriously step up my game.”

Pre-production began in 2014, with most of the original cast slated to return, including Allie Haze as Princess Leia and Tom Byron as Obi-wan. “We just started commissioning all the costumes and props, and our VFX guys are building the models. It’s gonna be a long shoot, and there’s a lot of preparation that needs to happen before the cameras start rolling. The goal is obviously to top the first movie while doing justice to the source material, so we definitely have our work cut out for us,” Braun said at the time. Empire was repeatedly touted as one of the biggest upcoming movies on the industry calendar.

Crowd-funding strikes back

Dani Daniels stars in Star Wars.

Image courtesy AVN

Ultimately, though, Empire languished in a development hell to rival the starts and stop of the original Star Wars prequels. By 2014, piracy and tube sites had cut into porn’s profit margins, meaning the seven- and even six-figure budgets of prior classics were now a thing of the past. Braun realized that the budget required to bring the movie to life would be prohibitively expensive.

Braun elaborated on his vision in a recent interview with Adult Empire: “I wanted to go to Alaska to shoot the scenes of Hoth. I mean, I wanted to do things that cost a lot of money . . . What am I going to do, have people on green screen here with Styrofoam as the snow?”

Given the financial realities of the industry, Braun understandably did not want to front the movie’s budget himself, knowing that it would likely result in a substantial loss even if the movie was successful. But his passion for the project remained as strong as ever: “I wrote the script, a fantastic script. I wanted to do it.” So he decided to explore a different option: crowd-funding. “I was convinced to do that. I don’t remember how that came about . . . it was an experiment,” Braun told us. “Crowd-funding was a big thing. And then I’ll give it away for free. I was going to do it for free. I was not going to make any money and just wanted to get it done.”

“It’s all or nothing,” Braun elaborated in an interview with AVN at the time. “We either reach our goal or I will never shoot the movie. I want to see if there are enough fans around the world who want this movie to happen as much as I do, and I just don’t want to see pirates profit from it.” The project gained further buzz with the announcements that Lexi Belle and Dani Daniels would join its cast should the movie reach production.

Braun’s ensuing Empire XXX Indiegogo campaign raised nearly $110,000, a breathtaking sum but still well short of the $500,000 goal, meaning the money would be released back to the backers. Unfortunately, some people misunderstood Braun’s intent, according to the director.

“I started getting this backlash because people know that I’m wealthy — ‘Why do you want money from us? You made so much money.’ And oh my god, that completely missed the point,” he told Adult Empire. “Obviously there’s enough people who believe in it, but in general, it left a sour taste in my mouth.”

The return of the Jedi?

Thus, cameras never rolled on Empire XXX. Braun’s retirement last year seemed the final indication the project would not come to pass, although the director admits he occasionally still thinks about the movie’s potential. “I thought about it a few times. But that the script is so funny, man. So yeah, you know, there are there are things that I didn’t get to do, but at some point, you know, you get to my age, and you start thinking about your own mortality and you see things in perspective,” he said.

Given the abiding popularity of the original, Empire XXX remains one of porn’s great unrealized projects. Is there any chance for a Braun comeback?

“Never say never,” he says with a smile.

Coming soon: Full, in-depth podcast interview with Axel Braun! Subscribe to the Adult Empire Podcast on your favorite podcast platform.

The original Star Wars XXX DVD is on sale for a limited time! Buy it now for just $19.99 (save $15)!

 

 

 

 

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