Axel Braun to Crowdfund 'Empire,' Distribute Free

LOS ANGELES—In true Rebel spirit, director Axel Braun launches an offensive against the Dark Side of porn piracy with his unprecedented plan for producing and distributing his biggest venture yet, The Empire Strikes Back: An Axel Braun Parody—to crowdfund the project entirely via website and release it completely free of charge.

"I'm trying to do something that has never been done," Braun said of the long-awaited followup to his mega-blockbuster Star Wars XXX. "I want to make the most amazing porn parody ever, completely funded by fans and sponsors, and I'm going to give it away for free. There will be no DVDs; it will only be available online, and it will be free for everyone. Forever.

"No hidden gimmicks, no need to give out your email address, no membership, absolutely nothing but click and watch," Braun continued. "Full HD, and fully legal. It's my way to fight internet piracy while giving back to the fans, and it's a bit of a social experiment."

The Indiegogo campaign, which has a goal of raising $500,000 by April 22, has been set as one with "fixed funding" parameters, meaning that Indiegogo will hold all funds raised and if the goal is not met by the deadline, they will be automatically refunded.

"It's all or nothing," Braun explained. "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."

Asked what his response would be to those who may suggest this tactic will only reinforce the ever-growing notion that porn is not worth paying for, Braun told AVN, "My approach is quite different, fans are actually paying for it, so they are showing that there still is a value for quality product. As a matter of fact, they are solely responsible for this movie ever being made."

The $500,000 goal for Empire's budget is equal to that of Star Wars XXX, and would cover the cost of production, marketing, Indiegogo fees and crowdfunding perks, which include premiere party tickets, signed scripts, costumes and props from the movie, set visits and more.

Pre-production and set construction is scheduled to begin April 26, with a projected 28-day shooting schedule starting June 1 and taking place in California, Nevada and Alaska.

"There was simply no way to do justice to the movie without real snow, and Alaska offers the perfect landscape for bringing Hoth to life," Braun explained in regard to the latter far-flung location. "So we'll pack up and go freeze our butts over there for a week in the middle of June. The good news is that a visit to our Alaska set is one of the many perks that we're offering in the campaign, which means two lucky fans may get to share that awesomely hypothermic experience with us."

The Empire Strikes Back XXX: An Axel Braun Parody will feature returning Star Wars XXX cast members Allie Haze (Princess Leia), Lexington Steele (Darth Vader) and Seth Gamble (Luke Skywalker), as well as new cast additions Riley Steele, Carter Cruise, Aiden Ashley, Casey Calvert and Asa Akira, on special loan from Wicked Pictures. Braun's longtime collaborator Eli Cross will also return as a producer and director of photography. Additional cast members will be added as the fundraising campaign progresses.

To watch the Indiegogo campaign video, donate and learn more about the project, click here. The campaign video is also available on YouTube.

Pending the success of the funding campaign, Braun plans to release The Empire Strikes Back XXX September 30, 2016.