When the trailer first dropped for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ it was quite clear that everyone was excited about what J.J. Abrams had put together. However, it wasn’t long until the nitpicking focused on the new lightsaber. While a few spoofs have already been done, we haven’t heard much from the director himself on the subject… until now.
Abrams isn’t immune to how people have viewed the new Sith weapon and in an interview with Collider talked pretty openly about what he’s been hearing about it:
“I will say that what’s been funny is, since the lightsaber’s come out, I cannot tell you how many contradictory emails I have received from people who have both defended it with unbelievably detailed graphics…I’ve gotten things that are nuts, and I’ve gotten people who’ve shown how it’ll kill you and how it doesn’t make any sense. It’s been the funniest thing to see the arguments that have developed over this thing.”
That pretty much sounds like the round of debates many of us have seen online about the weapon. Despite all the arguments, this lightsaber has been in the planning a long time ago in a movie studio far far away:
“It was a number of conversations [that led to the design]. It was a sketch that became a whole thing and, you know, this was not done without a lot of conversation and it’s fun to see people have the conversation that we had, but in reverse.”
Abrams says it is a “long story” on how it came to be and that he’ll tell it another time but it does look as if they’ve already mapped out the practicality of it. I suspect we’ll be getting a bonus featurette, possible on the special edition of the Blu-ray release, where they talk about the full process of creating the weapon.
While the first cut is still in the editing process, Abrams did happen to see an action sequence that was shot in IMAX. While that may have many fans excited to hear of an IMAX experience, I wouldn’t go out and instantly buy a ticket in this format:
“It’s really one sequence so it’s not a ton [of IMAX footage], but it’s a good sequence.”
The fact that only a small portion of the film is in IMAX (so far we only know of one sequence), I wonder if that would honestly deter many movie goers from paying the extra money to see it in that format.
With practical effects for ‘Star Wars’ constantly being brought up, the director had a chance to talk about them a little. We already know that the studio has been trying to use more of them and this little nugget should make fans of the realistic look quite happy:
“I feel like the beauty of this age of filmmaking is that there are more tools at your disposal, but it doesn’t mean that any of these new tools are automatically the right tools. And there are a lot of situations where we went very much old school and in fact used CG more to remove things than to add things.”
That being said…
“There are obviously an enormous amount of CG effects in the film, and I can’t wait for you to see the combination. But it was very important that we build as many sets as we could and that the film have a tangible, sort of authentic quality that you believed that these things were actually happening in a real space with real sunlight, if it was an exterior scene, or if we could build a big portion of a scene and not have anything be blue screen, do it where we could. It was a very important piece of work.”
The company seems to be following in Marvel’s footsteps and won’t have one director shooting every movie. I’m not sure if they like the success Marvel has been having with it or if this is an unofficial company wide mandate from Disney:
“I wouldn’t say 8 and 9 are my baby, Rian will be working at least on 8, but I’m executive producing those films, yeah.”
You can check out the full video below which has a few more details such as working with Simon Pegg on writing the third ‘Star Trek’ film.