Star Wars: Episode VIII Director Says Episode VII is Ditching CGI

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Star Wars: Episode VIII Director Says Episode VII is Ditching CGI

Star Wars: Episode VIII director Rian Johnson believes that film audiences are reaching "critical mass" when it comes to CGI.

Saying that the Star Wars prequels were bad is easy. Anyone with eyes, ears and the ability to experience nausea (an inevitable side effect of using said eyes and ears) can tell you that the films are garbage. Significantly more difficult, however, would be pinpointing the one element that made them so horrible. Granted, some would probably say the bad writing or acting, but for my money what ultimately killed the prequels was their intense over-reliance on computer generated special effects.

That in mind, you can perhaps understand why recent comments from Rian Johnson, the current writer/director of Episode VIII (slated for a 2017 release), have me feeling so excited. Speaking in a recent podcast, Johnson affirmed that the Episode VII-director J.J. Abrams and his crew were moving very much away from the CGI-infested film making that ruined the prequels and were instead making the new movie with a more classic sensibility.

"They're doing so much practical building for this one. It's awesome," said Johnson. He would go on to say that he thinks film audiences may be reaching their limit with CGI. "I think people are coming back around to [practical effects]. It feels like there is sort of that gravity pulling us back toward it. I think that more and more people are hitting kind of a critical mass in terms of the CG-driven action scene lending itself to a very specific type of action scene, where physics go out the window and it becomes so big so quick."

While we've already seen more than a few pieces of evidence pointing to Episode VII ditching CGI for practical sets and resources, Johnson's statements could still be taken as a good sign by fans that one of the most egregious errors of the prequel trilogy is finally being corrected. Granted, we'll have to wait until 2015 to see how well Abrams pulls it off. Even so, there just seem to be more and more reasons for Star Wars devotees to be hopeful.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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Of course they're ditching CGI, they have to cut the budget somewhere to afford all of the inevitable lens-flares added in post. Lens flares of that magnitude are not cheap, let me tell you.

CGI is not the devil. OVERUSE of CGI is the devil.

Guardians of the Galaxy is a wonderful marriage of the two. LOTS of practical effects, sets, make-up, costumes, and CG for the things that REQUIRE it, but only when it simply can't be done through practical effects.

....This is serious? We're gonna be getting more practical effects?...Ok. Show me. I'm interested.

Pretty cool that Star Wars is coming full circle in terms of the block buster level special effects thing it started way back with A New Hope. One can even say "The circle is now complete".

StewShearer:
Anyone with eyes, ears and the ability to experience nausea (an inevitable side effect of using said eyes and ears) can tell you that the films are garbage.

*sarcasm = on* Wow. Really professional. You are the apex of journalism.

*sarcasm = off* Also, they're canon. Get over it.

CGI has it's place, and if it had been done correctly, I think it could have made the prequels amazing. I was actually looking forward to the battle scenes in the prequel, because the battles in Return of the Jedi blew me away. So I thought, with the new tech we have, that these fights would be amazing.
They weren't.

On the flip side, practical effects cannot save a movie for me either. This is a good move, if true, but it will not give this movie a free pass from me, nor is it raising my hopes all that much. I'm still very leery about these rumors regarding the story. All the practical effects in the world won't make up for a terrible story.

Still, it will be nice to see X-wings and TIE Fighters actually blowing up once again.

To paraphrase just a little.

Good special effects, be they practical or CGI can make a great movie even greater.
Good special effects will only make a mediocre movie, more mediocre.

Spend money where it's most needed, the writing.

Can I have a hallelujah, people?

I will believed them when I see it with my own eyes.

Granted I don't think they should ditched CGI competely for obvious reason but yet again it would be interesting if they did recreated the battle scene like the old films (actual model exploding and other non cgi effects).

Queen Michael:
Can I have a hallelujah, people?

Sure, you can have mine.

Some great news leaden with an overindulgence of opinion in this article. The Prequels were bad, but that's not your place to tell me it is in this manner.

I kinda liked the prequels. I mean they weren't as good as the Orginals but they aren't the garbage people make them out to be. Are they great? Not by a long shot. Good? Not overly. Decent? Yeah if you remove the rose tinted glasses. Sure they are a bit of a mess but I still find them fun to watch.

We're not reaching CGI critical mass, we just don't like shit films. I mean Guardians of the Galaxy had a metric fuck ton of CGI and it seems to have been received rather well...

You're kidding.

Well, my interest just took a hit. Star Wars is spectacle first, everything else second. I'd love to see a CGI space battle and watch Star Destroyers and Republic ships duke it out.

CGI isn't what ruined the prequels, it was only a contributing factor, just another tool that was misused along with several others. If this movie is going to go full pander mode to the people who thought the biggest problem in the prequels was making Yoda CGI, it's already fucked. Perspective, people.

Use CGI, but use it sparingly. There is more to creating a spectacle than just CGI. Merge it with other things. Guardians is a great example.

CGI isn't universally hated, at least not yet, but seeing a brand new sci-fi movie with purely practical effects? I'm definitely curious.

What a horribly written article.

And what a completely stupid thing to say. Does this guy really think people want to see puppets and tiny models after seeing Avatar? Such crap.

This makes me legit excited. I'm tired of blurry CGI bullshit. CGI is best left for static backgrounds.

Ishal:
You're kidding.

Well, my interest just took a hit. Star Wars is spectacle first, everything else second.

The hell? Sure the visuals in the old movies were great and but a lot of those movies took place in rather simple places, they never were spectacle first, everything else second.

Like many said, CGI has its place.

I am fucking hyped as shit that they announced this. Although recent movies (GoTG) have blended practical and CG amazingly, It will be a fresh of breath air to see a Practical effect movie. And, after all the CG changes to the original and the CG orgy of the Prequels, I'm stoked to see the series go back to practical.

Of all the things wrong with the prequels, I think the overuse of CGI was the least of them.

I can tell you where it happened for me. That rolling ball of brontasauri, or whatever they're called now that bronto has been ditched (also there'r FOUR food groups), in King Kong. I'm all for good CGI, but bad or unnecessary CGI is just the worst. Rehire all your effects guys and model makers and give them explosives to play with rather than fake blowing up fake stuff. It should be fine for lightsabers and blaster effects though.

People only complain about CGI when CGI is bad or poorly used. When CGI is convincing and effective people forget they're looking at CGI and just enjoy the movie. If this means we're going to have more ridiculous looking puppets like in the original films, call me disappointed.

What is the point of being owned by Disney if you aren't going to front load the films with hand build sets/props.

Real things in my opinion lead to real acting, and real acting is what makes a film/s transcend generations.

Looking forward to these movies.

Nimcha:

Does this guy really think people want to see puppets and tiny models after seeing Avatar? .

One of the biggest problems that a lot of people had with the Prequel Trilogy was that it was absolutely filled with horrible CGI, CGI that could be easily replaced and improved by practical effects. So yes, people want to see "puppets and tiny models" (yeah, that's not how all practical effects work, mate).

Uuugh...

I really don't mind either CGI or Pratical so long it looks good. I mean, Dark Knight and Man of Steel are both great looking for me, and both are completely focused on those two mindsets. (Nolan is a big pratical effects supporter, Snyder loves it's CGI heavy scenes.)

I mean, I really don't care about this "right use" of CGI bs, hell, I loved Captain Sky and The World of Tomorrow when it came out, and that movie is 90% green screen.

Trishbot:
CGI is not the devil. OVERUSE of CGI is the devil.

Addendum: Use of crappy CGI is the devil.

I've seen CGI that has looked more fluid and realistic than anything practical effects have ever pulled off or could pull off, especially with settings that aren't supposed to be realistic to begin with. CGI, even very heavy CGI movies are not bad, it's the fact that so many that use it don't seem to give enough of a damn to do it well that is bad.

As someone who plays video games I have no problem with CGI, it's the natural evolution of storytelling. That and the 1980s films aren't exactly visually stunning by modern standards. I really liked the huge battles in the prequel trilogy, even if those movies weren't good. The space fight at the beginning of episode 3 is just awesome to watch. Though, they should probably use physical sets for the characters to act in, like the Hobbit does.

DeaDRabbiT:
What is the point of being owned by Disney if you aren't going to front load the films with hand build sets/props.

Real things in my opinion lead to real acting, and real acting is what makes a film/s transcend generations.

Looking forward to these movies.

The sets do need to be physical for the benefit of the acting, especially in action scenes. But it'll be pretty lame if they have to tell us about the huge space battle happening in orbit or have a dinky little orb represent the death star. GCI is really necessary for the sky boxes and to touch up things like, you know, lightsabers.

Haru17:
As someone who plays video games I have no problem with CGI, it's the natural evolution of storytelling. That and the 1980s films aren't exactly visually stunning by modern standards. I really liked the huge battles in the prequel trilogy, even if those movies weren't good. The space fight at the beginning of episode 3 is just awesome to watch. Though, they should probably use physical sets for the characters to act in, like the Hobbit does.

The Episode 3 opening battle was definitely cool. The Gungan battle at the end of Episode 1.. not so cool. That hurt my soul even the first time watching it.

This would be so cool if it were actually true.

But I have serious trust issues from anything coming from Abrams and company (and all those associated...)

There's no critical mass being reached with CGI, rather some people have always complained about CGI. Personally I don't really notice it in the manner that the latter people do. Only complaint about the sequels is that it's use made some of the scenes/aliens a little too busy. Especially in Phantom Menace all of a sudden many of the aliens/droids are way too crazy.

canadamus_prime:
Of all the things wrong with the prequels, I think the overuse of CGI was the least of them.

I'm inclined to agree. I'm not in love with CG, but I'd watch an all-CG Star Wars if it was good.

Wait. They're employing Andy Serkis, and they're ditching CGI?

...Does not compute! Does not compute! Does not compute!!!

More seriously, if this is true, I'm inclined to see it as a positive step. If the Red Letter Media Star Wars reviews succeeded in convincing me of one thing, it was that the use of greenscreen sound-stages was crippling what could be done in terms of framing conversations and shots even as it was enabling the worst excesses of Lucas' imagination.

Admittedly, film-makers have gotten better at using CGI in more dynamic ways in the intervening decade-plus, but I still can't help but feel that working within such constraints might be a positive for the new film.

*sarcasm = off* Also, they're canon. Get over it.

Nope. The wonderful thing about fiction is nobody gets to truly own it, not even the creators. Canon itself is a bullshit concept and only bought-into by choice. Midichlorians alone are enough of a contradiction from everything Yoda explains about the Force in ESB to short the canon-fuse for me, so fuck them, they're out. If Disney's really as smart as the choices they've been flaunting make them out to be, they'll eventually remake and replace them anyway - there's more than enough demand for the $$$$.

CrazyBlaze:
Decent? Yeah if you remove the rose tinted glasses. Sure they are a bit of a mess but I still find them fun to watch.

Come-aaahn, if you're taking your rose tinted glasses off to watch Star Wars, you're having fun wrong. Star Wars IS rose tinted glasses, man.

OP: This is obvious but good news. Hope it's true. Opinions on CGI aside, I feel that the grit that came from the sets, locations, and costumes were something integral to the original trilogy's appeal.

Nimcha:
What a horribly written article.

And what a completely stupid thing to say. Does this guy really think people want to see puppets and tiny models after seeing Avatar? Such crap.

Harsh but funny....and probably true

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