The new Star Wars trilogy is full of the kinds of practical effects that fans loved from the original films, but the digital effects help imagine the galaxies and planets like never before. And as reels from Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) reveal, the effort to merge the digital and practical is almost seamless.
ILM’s work is nominated for an Oscar for best visual effects for The Last Jedi, and ahead of this year’s Academy Awards, it released glimpses at how it put two of the film’s big effects-heavy sequences together.
The first sequence, which focuses on the Resistance’s attack on the First Order and the destruction of the Resistance’s fleet, have a lot going on. There’s the human element, shown with pilot Tallissan Lintra, who’s filmed in a physical ship. Then the digital background is added in later, but it never felt overdone. And when Poe Dameron watches the fleet’s destruction and is thrown back by the blast, it involves bringing several elements together at once to make it feel cohesive—not to mention the emotional tug behind it.
The scene in the Supremacy’s hangar as Finn and Rose Tico are brought out to be executed isn’t as action-packed as the space battle. But it requires plenty of work to bring that space to life, from all of the ships, transporters, and weapons to life as it increases just how many stormtroopers gathered to stand witness.