How Each Star Wars Trilogy Changed Special Effects Forever | NowThis Nerd

On the eve of ‘The Last Jedi,’ join Andrew Rivera for a look at three times ‘Star Wars’ changed special effects forever.
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Behind the scenes, Star Wars has been a leading force in the development of modern movie special effects. For each film, the Star Wars special effects revolutionized the entire vfx industry and changed the way that Hollywood makes blockbuster movie. From the motion control Dykstraflex system used in the making of Star Wars to the bad CGI that nonetheless broke ground in The Phantom Menace, to J.J. Abram’s shocking restraint in The Force Awakens, the methods used behind the magic of Star Wars set a high bar for every movie that followed them. In this video, we offer a Star Wars special effects breakdown of the innovative compositing and model usage in Star Wars a New Hope, using some great Star Wars bts footage showing the hard work and innovative Star Wars VFX that went into sequences like the Death Star trench run. Characters like Luke Skywalker Mark Hamill, Princess Leia Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford Han Solo are what made the saga so memorable in Star Wars A New Hope, Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars Return of the Jedi, but the pioneering Star Wars FX work shows the blood, sweat and tears that went into the making of a saga.

The making of Star Wars doesn’t end with the Star Wars Original Trilogy, though. The controversial Star Wars prequels sprung straight from the mind of George Lucas and Lucasfilm, and with it came a brand new revolution in the history of Star Wars special effects: CGI. The first film, Star Wars The Phantom Menace was still a beta test for a fully CGI world, there were still some Star Wars practical effects and sets, like the Yoda puppet that would be eliminated for the home release. But as clumsy as the early computer graphics were, it’s still an impressive feat for 1999. Star Wars Jar Jar Binks might be one of the worst characters ever committed to film, but he was clearly ahead of his time from a technical standpoint. Industrial Light and Magic, or ILM, endeavored to create the first walking, talking, fully CGI character that interacted with the live actors and real world around them in a seamless illusion. That didn’t turn out to be the case, but it’s still a landmark in the history of special effects that deserves talking about in any Star Wars effects doc or Star Wars FX doc. Things would get even more CGI by the sequels, Star Wars Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Revenge of the Sith, and the rest of Hollywood would soon follow suit. In fact, Phantom Menace created a problem that The Force Awakens sought to fix: Over reliance on CGI.

J.J. Abrams and Star Wars The Force Awaken gave Hollywood a wake up call with its return to Star Wars Practical Effects. No longer would every new Star Wars character be a CGI monstrosity. Instead, we returned to the world of Star Wars miniatures, Star Wars sets, and Star Wars puppets and animatronic suits. CGI was still used, of course, but in a far less dominating fashion than what came before. It was a breath of fresh air for the computer graphics saturated movie industry, and gave the Star Wars sequel trilogy a unique look that set it apart from the competition. Now, other filmmakers have started to take notice, with Blade Runner 2049 using practical sets and incredible miniature work to capture the heavy feel of the 1980s special effects. Star Wars The Last Jedi looks to be following suit, but the real revolution just happened one movie before it.

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