While we're likely going to be overloaded with Star Wars films in the next few years, anticipation is ramping up for the J.J. Abrams helmed Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens.
During Comic Con, a brand new behind the scenes video was shown to fans, revealing quite a few impressive sets and practical effects used throughout the film:
And if you somehow missed the extended teaser trailer, or just want to watch again, here it is:
Abrams has said mostly what fans have wanted to hear going into the making of the first Star Wars film in 10 years, including deciding to shoot on 35mm, and an emphasis on practical effects in addition to what will obviously be quite of bit of CGI:
"It's Star Wars," continued Abrams, "there'll be an endless number of effects that'll be done, of course. But we needed to set a standard. You wanted it to be legitimate. Building as much as we could was a mandate."
"Even before ILM [Industrial Light and Magic] gets started, you can watch the movie and see what it is."
This isn't to say that anything is wrong with effects that are computer generated, but one major complaint about the earlier prequels was an over-reliance on CGI sets and characters (especially in Episodes II and III). Not only that, but George Lucas decided to shoot the last two prequels with early 24p Sony F900 series 1080p cameras, a far cry from the beautiful digital imagery created by cameras like the ARRI ALEXA, and further alienating some passionate fans of the original films.* Abrams, on the other hand, has chosen to stick with 35mm and IMAX for the new movie. Combined with anamorphic lenses, shooting on film seems to be grounding the look of The Force Awakens in a way that brings us back nostalgically to Episodes IV, V, and VI.
Whether or not this approach will help make this a good film is a whole other question, but it's certainly looking a bit more grown-up than the most recent films. The best news of all, however, is the fact that the actors involved have spoken highly of the script written by Lawrence Kasdan (who wrote Empire and Jedi).
We'll find out either way when the film is released this December — though there will supposedly be a lot more footage coming our way before then.