October 20, 2015

Newest 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Trailer Pulls Out All the VFX Stops

Based on comments from director J.J. Abrams, if you were worried about there being too many practical effects in the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens, fear not, because this thing (like any other sci-fi film today), is going to have a healthy mix of both:

Some have gotten the impression that this website has a vendetta against VFX, which couldn't be further from the truth. The issue is bad VFX. If you're putting something on screen that instantly rings false, I'm going to be taken out of the movie completely. This isn't a post to go off about that entire industry, but there are a lot of reasons that we've seen some pretty awful VFX on-screen, and a lot of it has to do with how movies are made and the insane timelines that artists are given to complete shots (not to mention the fact that the work tends to go to the lowest bidder, wherever the tax credits are highest). 

All that aside, this is likely going to be one of the biggest opening weekends of all time and hopefully restore hope to the franchise that recently saw some tumbles thanks to the Prequels (which I'll go out on a limb again and say weren't as bad as you remember, and the original films aren't as perfect as you imagine either). There's no need to remove all VFX to make a good film — and would, in fact, be a bit silly considering the universe that Star Wars takes place in. What looks to be happening with the newest film from Abrams is a course correction, recognizing that the human brain wants to be fooled, and that a little nostalgia can go a long way.

Either way, the trailer world has certainly come a long way from the late 70s:

Who already has their tickets for December 18th (or 17th depending on where you live)?      

Your Comment

13 Comments

Big fan of the original films, I was really hoping this new trilogy wouldn't have so much of the patented "JJ Abrams" lens flares.

October 20, 2015 at 8:26AM, Edited October 20, 8:26AM

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Haha... love how that New Hope trailer ends with them showing the end of the movie :D

October 20, 2015 at 10:19AM

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Torben Greve
Cinematographer
434

Got my tickets yesterday. Fandango and and other servers were all down but I finally scored two tickets for the 17th at the Arclight Hollywood.
I got so exited that I had to watch A New Hope and yes, it's not perfect but epic nevertheless. Or should I say mythical (hello Mr Campbell)?

October 20, 2015 at 11:51AM, Edited October 20, 11:51AM

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Jan Becker
DP, Director, Producer
284

...I love this. It has a lot of the "feel" of the original three films. This should be the blockbuster for 2015.

October 20, 2015 at 2:31PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30241

Can't wait to see this site dissecting those effects in great detail in a few months....

October 20, 2015 at 3:25PM

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Sean Voysey
Creative Director
229

Looks amazing! It's just that I heard domnhall gleeson say in an interview that he didn't want people to be upset if it didn't live up to the hype because they tried their best...

October 20, 2015 at 11:34PM

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Matt Nunn
Amateur
231

Yeah, I would have to disagree about the trailer pulling out all of the VFX stops. In fact, the trailer shows very little VFX; I'm sure this was done on purpose to not spoil things that will be revealed in the movie. I'm disappointed that the Falcon chase scenes in the desert don't look better. In fact they look just a tad better than the SW Battlefront trailer, which even has a crashed Star Destroyer in the background. I was hoping that they would use as many models as possible for SW7 as it was always the compositing which was the beast, not the photographing of the ships themselves.

Here's a snapshot from Battlefront using the graphics engine for the game. Getting very close to feature quality in video games now.
http://m23.imgup.net/StarWarsBaf5d9.png

October 21, 2015 at 12:03AM, Edited October 21, 12:03AM

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Film Voltage
Director
194

not interested in the nuances of what FX types were used at all... the story is going back to its roots by the looks of things, and this is what makes it so cool.

October 21, 2015 at 10:28AM

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Seán Ó Cearrúlláin
Project Manager / Author
101

I saw the premiere back in '77. The projector broke down at the scene just before the Millennium Falcon was launching into hyperdrive, plunging the theater into darkness, and then restarted a few seconds later. The audience went berserk with cheers like it was the winning touchdown at the superbowl. It was awesome.

October 21, 2015 at 11:21AM

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M Kowal
147

If stormtroopers are meant to be clones then why os one of them standing in that line about 4-6 inches taller than the rest?????

October 25, 2015 at 8:05PM, Edited October 25, 8:05PM

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Because Stormtroopers aren't all clones of Jango... Most of the clones died in the Death Star's destruction and were replaced by volunteers and guns for hire.

November 3, 2015 at 4:43AM

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Thomas Bunink
Student
104

Looks good. But also looks as if Abrams couldn't resist the same Excess Lucas had in the 2cnd Trilogy. The Massively over done & Over Populated (with ships,etc) Scenes of Battles. Just Way too much. It looked ridiculous & was way too much when he did this.

October 29, 2015 at 9:48AM

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Or 16th, depending where you live!

November 3, 2015 at 4:41AM, Edited November 3, 4:41AM

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Thomas Bunink
Student
104