KPCK-TV brings the force to Peacock Nation

KPCK first short film

Among the Upper Iowa University students featured in the soon-to-be released short film, “Star Wars: They’re Back” are (l-r) Taylor Hoth, Donnie Kendall, Dane Gillespie, Maurice Wilburn (back), Quentin Brandt, Lizzie Van Dyk. The debut of the KPCK-TV production will take place at 7 p.m. Friday, March 31, in Liberal Arts Room 100 at Fayette Campus.

FAYETTE, Iowa (March 17, 2017) – KPCK-TV has been providing news and entertainment to Peacock Nation since the student-led television production launched in October 2016. With a few months’ experience under their belts, the participating Upper Iowa University (UIU) students recently set forth on a new adventure to a galaxy far, far away.

KPCK-TV is proud to announce the release of its first short film, “Star Wars: They’re Back!” All aspects of the fan-film, from acting to producing, were completed by students. The debut of the production will take place at 7 p.m. Friday, March 31, in Liberal Arts Room 100 at Fayette Campus. In addition to behind the scenes footage and a blooper reel, cast and crew members will be present at the viewing party to answer questions. The film will be uploaded to the KPCK-TV YouTube channel later that evening.

Dylon Field, a junior sports communication major, submitted the proposal for KPCK-TV this past spring and has been one of the driving forces behind the station in his role as executive producer. The Noblesville, Indiana, native explained that KPCK-TV plans to release more short films, including prequels and sequels to this film, and expand current programming even further. The goal is to provide timely and quality news and entertainment to the UIU community as well as get more students involved to help streamline the process.

“We ran into many speed bumps during both pre- and post-production of this film,” said Field. “We would discuss each problem as a group and use the knowledge we’ve gained from the different classes we’ve taken at UIU to help us move forward and solve each issue.”

Dane Gillespie, a junior sports communication and business administration double major, stars in the film as Darth Beardo. As a Star Wars fan, Gillespie was excited to be able to spoof the film and bring comic relief to his antagonist character.

“The small class sizes offered by UIU have allowed me to be involved in outside activities such as this,” said the Fountain, Minnesota, native. “I believe these opportunities are essential to my all-around education. I have acted in plays and smaller productions before, but this provided me with a whole new experience.”

With the guidance of faculty advisor Melle Starsen, associate professor of communication, additional students involved with the production included Mitch Eighme of Waterloo, Iowa, associate producer; Maurice Wilburn of Minneapolis, Minnesota, as Supreme Monarch Jerry; Taylor Hoth of Waverly, Iowa, as Jedi Nigel; Lizzie Van Dyk of Carlisle, Iowa, as Jedi Margaret, and Donnie Kendall of Illinois and Kunal Chopra of Penang, Malaysia, as planet leaders.

To reserve a seat for the March 31 viewing party, email

About Upper Iowa University Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, nonprofit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs to about 5,200 students–nationally and internationally–at its Fayette campus, 21 U.S. locations, as well as a location in Hong Kong. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and self-paced degree program. With a focus on developing leaders and lifelong learners, UIU provides dual enrollment programs for high school students as well as continuing education and professional development opportunities for learners of any age. For more information, visit

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