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Warhammer 40K’s best fan project is leading to new, official animations

Animations from the grim darkness of the far future

A trio of Space Marines from the Astartes animated short Image: Syama Pedersen/Games Workshop

Astartes is a fan-made animated series that follows a squad of Space Marines as they go about one of their bloody missions in the Warhammer 40,000 franchise. The project was created by Syama Pedersen, and racked up millions of views on YouTube. Games Workshop took notice of the project’s success, and hired Pedersen to the team. Now, a wave of new, official Warhammer animations is on the way, which is an exciting prospect for fans of Astartes’ painstakingly animated action.

There’s a rich history of Warhammer fan projects turning official as Games Workshop notices animators and filmmakers putting their takes on the long-running franchise on YouTube. Richard Boylan, a cinematic designer at Electronic Arts, released projects like Helsreach and Guardsman on YouTube. That turned into Angels of Death, an upcoming series following the Blood Angels Space Marines. This is the debut show from Warhammer Storyforge.

Pedersen is now working on a follow-up to Astartes as part of the Warhammer Animation Team. There are other newly announced projects under that umbrella. Lost Legion Studios is working on The Exodite, a story about the T’au, a rising empire in service to a philosophy called the Greater Good. Paxel Art is working on Primaris: The Last Templar, which follows the Black Templars. Meanwhile, Iron Within comes from Codex Film, showing the Iron Warriors in action against the Drukthari, also known as Dark Eldar.

There’s certainly a demand for all of this Warhammer 40K media, with boxed sets like the limited-edition Indomitus selling out immediately. Big Light Productions, the team behind Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle, is developing a live-action show based off the Eisnhorn novels by Dan Abnett.

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