About two weeks ago, a bomb was dropped in the entertainment world. Disney announced that it was purchasing Lucasfilm, which includes Star Wars and Indiana Jones, for $4 Billion dollars. That is billion with a B. But that wasn't all. Disney proceeded to announce that production would begin on a new Star Wars trilogy, amply titling the new film Episode 7. Since then, the Internet has been a buzz on who would write the script, would any of the original actors return to their iconic roles, and in what capacity would George Lucas serve?
Slowly or quickly depending on whom you speak with, new information has begun to leak out. I won't get into all of the details here, but if you are interested in a good read, Paste Magazine and Superherohype.com have great articles on this subject matter, which you can read and . It's been awhile since I have watched any of the Star Wars films, so I decided to pop one into the old DVD play and get reacquainted with an old friend.
Unfortunately I watched Episode III, Revenge of the Sith. It's not that Revenge of the Sith is a bad movie, it isn't. In fact it is the best out of the prequel trilogy. Watching it just reminded me of how much of a missed opportunity the prequels were.
Now this isn't going to be a blog post bad mouthing the prequels. There are plenty of those out there. What I mean with missed opportunity is the over use of CGI graphics. One of the absolute best things about the original trilogy was the sets and the models. For many months skill craftsman and carpenters built Jabba the Hut's fortress, Yoda's home on Dagobah, or the Death Star. This created a realism that had never before been seen in SciFi. And ultimately it added, in my opinion, to the overall success of the series. The viewer was truly transported to a galaxy far, far away.
In the prequels, the filmmakers completely abandoned this in favor of creating everything through CGI. While they were able to create some never before seen worlds, the SFX did not age well. As I watched Episode III, a major distraction for me was all of the actors seemed to pop out from the background. That is because everything was shot against a green screen. As CGI graphics advance, the flaws of its predecessors become much more noticeable. The perfect examples are the prequels.
Now if you are able to watch the original trilogy, without the CGI alterations, you will see SFX that have aged gracefully. Are they perfect? Absolutely not. Yet when you see the Millennium Falcon, not once do you doubt whether it is real or not. That is because it is real. Someone actually built it. It physically exists. When I watch the prequels everything looks cartoony, and I don't believe that the ships, creatures, or worlds are real. In fact it becomes very distracting to the story telling process.
What my great hope is, with this new trilogy is that the film makers return to classic style of movie making, and use some of the special effects techniques that made the original trilogy so special. Real sets, the use of models, and for God sakes a puppet Yoda!!