In Memory of Darren Edward Lee by Project Acheron



In Memory of Darren Edward Lee (17.3.75 – 22.5.18) I struggled with how to begin this video as there was not really an appropriate enough way of saying what has happened, on the 22nd of May we lost an amazing man by the name of Darren Edward Lee. Everyone here on the channel would probably know him best for his massive contributions the Alien Awakening Animated Series leading originally to its conception and its growth into project supported and cared for by so many that if he were here right now I know he would be proud of it, myself and more so his friends and his family will know him for the kind, caring, passionate and loving person that he was to everyone around him.

Darren began talking to me around about June last year. Originally, he began to comment on my videos and shortly after wished to help me improve upon my ideas for an explanation to bridge the alien prequels and the original film, a project we originally referred to as the “way to save the Alien franchise”. We eventually got talking and begun to email each other in increasing frequency, talking sometimes up to twice-three times a day at its peak. We talked for hours about our separate ideas and began to form the basis of what we wanted to create. Darren was a visionary, he was able to craft together a story that was so inventive and interesting that it captured my attention immediately and work began on the Alien: Awakening Animated Series.

We would talk every day, each time we did we learnt more and more about each other. I learnt he was a family man, with a wife and a son. He always spoke highly and regularly of his family, he told me of how his wife Jana would spend the time to read over his work and help him make corrections. He told me how much he loved having her constant support. He also spoke of his son; how much he enjoyed the times he spent entertaining him and how in turn his son gave him happiness and purpose. I only had months to get to know Darren but, in that time, I realised he was an amazing and intelligent man who was dedicated and passionate about everything he set his mind to.
Only months ago, Darren received some terrible news about his health and the news wasn’t good. Most people would give up, I even told him to stop with the project and spend as much time as he could with the people he cared about. Despite this he fought as best he could given the circumstances and he continued to talk with me, but it became less and less frequent. However, his last conversation to me was an inspiring and humbling one to me personally; Darren told me how he was struggling, how he had been going through some very rough times. He was thinking of giving up the series for me to finish, but then he talked about how he thought long about that and he decided to keep working. He told me that project and story helped him to, in his words, “remain positive during the darkest of days”. He told me that while he waited at hospitals and appointments for hours on end that instead of sitting and thinking about all the terrible things happening he would jot down material for the coming episodes of the series. He said there were even times he was so engrossed in the story that he would almost miss his name being called by the admins and doctors. Darren thanked me. He thanked me in detail for giving him the opportunity to share his ideas with so many people through the use of the Project: Acheron Channel. The thing is his ideas needed to be out there. He was a tremendous writer and had an extremely inventive mind, a mind full of tremendous thoughts which I have had the privilege to transform into a medium that could be shared with the masses. I can easily say that I have not ever worked with anyone so devoted and passionate about film and storytelling in my entire life. His contributions to the Alien franchise will ripple through the rest of my work as I will always remember the things he inspired me to create and the stories he gave me to tell. His commitment in all aspect of his life is phenomenal, his talent sensational, both something for anyone to strive for.
Sadly, on the 22nd of May this year Darren had succumbed to his sickness and passed away, leaving behind him a loving family, a mass of friends and a legacy that will live on in this channel for as long as I may continue to create here. It was not until weeks after his passing I had discovered this truth when I finally got in contact with his wife Jana, she informed me of what had happened, and I said as best I could how sorry I was for them all that they had lost him, and we talked about him and I learned even more about him; that he had travelled the world and loved music. There was nothing I knew to say that I thought did him any justice, no words to express how sad I felt for the loss of someone who had grown to be such a close friend. The only thing I knew that I could do for him now was to try and take the work he had poured his heart and soul into and not let that pass with him. I refuse to let his contributions lay down with him; I truly believe that you die twice, the first time is when your last breath leaves your body, the second time is the final time that someone mentions your name. There is absolutely nothing anyone can do to bring him back, but I feel it is my responsibility to keep his work alive. I want to share his stories and work with as many people as will listen, the Alien: Awakening Series was written by Darren, it’s his story and so I intend to share it with as many people, across as many countries, as I can. I promise to keep his dreams alive, but I can only do so much as its going to be every single person who watches, comments and supports the efforts of the project that really keep him alive in all our minds. I want his name immortalised in the Alien world and fanbase that he cared so much about, that he would work to his final days trying to bring it back to its former glory.
“I often wondered about death – the infinite darkness, the deafening silence Finality it would seem. The manner in which we imagine death – a humanoid being which belongs in fairy tales for young to separate good from bad. But now I understand as it fast approaches me, It is no man or being. It is nothing, barely even a feeling it is the answer to a lifetime of questions. The next time you wonder about death, Remember that it is the fictional beauty of being alive.” – Darren Edward Lee (17th of March, 1975 – 22nd of May, 2018)
Why? Why are the innocent punished? Why the sacrifice? Why the pain? There aren’t any promises. Nothing’s certain. Only that some get called, some get saved. They won’t ever know the hardship and grief for those of us left behind-We commit these bodies to the void…. with a glad heart. For within each seed, there is the promise of a flower. And within each death, no matter how big or small, there’s always a new life. A new. beginning. A-men. – Alexander Burns (Alien 3 excerpt Read at Darren’s Funeral)
Darren was born in England (West Haddon) on the 17th of March 1975. At a young age, he developed a keen interest in music. It could be said that school came at the wrong time for Darren, but he was intelligent and inquisitive and the desire to keep learning never left him. Something that many of you may not know was that Darren began an Open University Psychology Course, a course that he was sadly not able to complete. As we said earlier, his biggest passion was music. He played the bass guitar and piano. He formed a band called ‘Buxom’ with friends from school that made tracks that are still discussed today. There were numerous other collaborations that explored his rich and diverse musical tastes, always attempting to capture the elusive melodies of his imagination. He had an appreciation for music across genre and generation. He was as equally passionate hearing a new tune from a new band he had taken an instant shine to as he was appraising and re-evaluating bands he had been listening to for decades. His creative energy was not limited to music: He could tell stories and write prose, he made amateur horror films and had recently collaborated on a YouTube channel in an attempt to save the Alien movie franchise. He was an avid gamer and a voracious reader. He was a man fascinated with technology and the cosmos; he was intrigued by the possibilities of what the future may hold.
Darren was a deep thinker with a very spiritual nature and had an immense love for his little boy Roxton. Thanks go to all the good friends who were with him, and who supported him and Jana over the period of his illness. Darren was described to me as thoughtful, kind and gentle; a good supportive husband, father and son – a sensitive man who was a great listener.
Darren was a very creative person: he would write and often rewrite a game or a story or anything else that he thought wasn’t up to his standard! He loved his music and he loved his films and he even continued to rate new listening’s and viewings when he was in the hospital! Of course many of us will remember Darren for different things at different stages of his all too short life -whether we worked with him, grew up with him or just socialised with him: Re-enacting film scenes and Fireworks, Dungeons and Dragons, Politics and Religion, bad teeth but loved a sweet, Buxom and Madonna, Alien and Robot Ninja, Bon Jovi and Nine Inch Nails, memorable chats at 6 in the morning and texts at night, hedonism and philosophy, Warhammer and Dead space, the radio one playlist and national elections…this list is nowhere near enough…

Darren was well informed, articulate and verbose in all his conversations wherever he spoke… Slovakia or Mexico, Brixton or Las Vegas, whether growing up in West Haddon or doing his shift at Fords, letting his hair down at Passion in Coalville or rocking out in the smoking shelter at Rock City in Nottingham… he was a great person to talk to. When Darren was passionate and enthusiastic about a subject he could be quite persuasive and very contagious! Darren’s words will always resonate and permeate in those places. He was a poignant, dry humoured and forward-thinking guy. Darren was always a good friend. Darren was the resoundingly charismatic if a reluctant leader of our group, a man who will be sorely missed by us all. – Alexander Burns and Brent Hulme (Speech’s Read at Darren funeral)

By studioyutani

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1 comment

  1. Reblogged this on The Nostromo Files and commented:
    I am sharing something shared with me. In this life, there is no greater love than to give of one’s self in the lifting up of another’s burdens, to make a connection on the spiritual level that is all too hard to overlook in this world. I learned today of a very special gentleman who did just that in the life of Project: Acheron’s admin… despite the certainty that his own life’s end was clearly in sight. Thanks to Muthur9000 and Project: Acheron for sharing, and to Darren Edward Lee (may he rest in peace). Maranatha, friends!

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