Warning: Spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens ahead. Proceed with caution if you haven’t seen the movie.
Most of us have seen The Force Awakens at least once by now. The latest Star Wars film used extensive practical effects, but like most movies and television, a splash of digital effects were needed to bring the world to life. Some sets—such as the spaceship graveyard on Jakku—would be too impractical to replicate in real space. Visual effects (VFX) allowed the world to come together in ways it couldn’t have otherwise, at least, not in the same way.
With the Oscars nominations around the corner, a VFX breakdown reel for The Force Awakens has dropped online. It should go without saying, but don’t watch the video if you haven’t seen the film yet because it gives away all sorts of spoilers. However, if you know the material, you’ll probably be interested to see how a variety of effects were handled—everything from the firing of Starkiller Base’s weapon, to the destruction of Maz Kanata’s palace, the modeling of ships like the X-wings, to BB-8 techniques, and so much more. The star here is the VFX, but the video shows off the practical aspects of the film, too.
The VFX reel of course includes the work done on the completely digital characters of Maz Kanata and Supreme Leader Snoke. Lupita Nyong’o and Andy Serkis performed using motion capture technology, and it’s interesting to see the way their features were mapped.
UPDATE: Looks like the above video was taken down. Here are a few more GIF shots of some key scenes:
Which effect in The Force Awakens do you think was the coolest? Let me know in the comments.