Friday, June 6, 2014

Star Wars Thoughts

Image from Wikipedia
As news trickles out of the Abrams camp while they work on the new Star Wars movies, I can't seem to tamp down my excitement.

I'm not the biggest nerd when it comes to Star Wars. Like, I like the movies quite a lot, but I've only seen them a handful of times--most recently a few years ago when I made my wife watch the original trilogy followed by the prequel trilogy (for posterity's sake, and so she can see the horror of what the franchise became).

Recently, JJ Abrams posted a video for a Star Wars charity, but in the video, a long-necked alien comes waddling into the frame and kind of grunts at Abrams. It's not like it was an accident, but that little moment filled me with all kinds of giddiness. See, the alien was a puppet. As in, someone was operating that creature. And it looked great.

CG, no matter how good it looks, always looks slightly off. Even the best CG will look dated eventually. But a well done practical effect will always look good.

I'm of the opinion that the 90's was the greatest period in movie effects history. You could accomplish some amazing things with CG--creating certain sequences that would never have been possible before. But you also got some great practical effects mixed in. If you watch RedLetterMedia's Plinkett review of Titanic, you see there's definitely CG--they had to use CG to create some of the ocean effects and stuff. But the ship? Often a giant model. The breaking, smashing interior? Miniatures. And so on. That movie looked great because it was a blend of styles.

Contrast that with the shitty the prequels looked with their rubbery, soft, fake looking environments, and you see why I'd be so excited for the new movies.

I was saying to my wife the other day: Abrams' Star Trek movies were sort of "meh" because he didn't care about Star Trek. He openly admitted that he was never into it when he was a kid, so the movies he made were just movies to him. However, he's exactly the right guy to be handling the Star Wars franchise.

Anyway, no real point. Just things that were on my mind as I looked at the leaked pictures from the set and tried to avoid any real spoilers.

How are you feeling about the upcoming Star Wars movies?