John Knoll of Industrial Light & Magic put together a montage of fans’ reactions to the first Rogue One trailer and had his team watch it.
There’s no better way to validate hard and amazing work by seeing fans geeking out over it. After hundreds of fans filmed themselves watching the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer for the first time, John Knoll of Industrial Light & Magic, the incredible production crew behind the visual effects of all the Star Wars films, put together a montage of those fans’ reactions for his team to see. The result was a video of ILM reacting to fans reacting to the trailer they had labored so hard over.
I can only imagine how gratifying it must be to see diehard Star Wars fans flip out (in the best way possible) over something you made. The team at ILM deserves those enthusiastic reactions, because what we’ve seen of their work on Rogue One has been truly incredible. That Star Destroyer really could pass for a model; and everything, the Death Star dish and the AT-AT’s on the beach, looks so real. Rogue One is going to be a mind-blowing film for its visual effects alone. I’d say they’re just as, if not more impressive than the CGI in The Force Awakens, simply because they’re more obviously recreating many classic Star Wars motifs.
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In many ways, Rogue One‘s visual effects will be compared to the practical effects in the original trilogy, because it’s recreating the same ships, vehicles, and locations which Episodes IV-VI used handcrafted models and sets for. The Force Awakens did a little bit of that kind of throwback with the Millennium Falcon and the X-wings, but the X-wings in The Force Awakens were newer models, and the Falcon, being even more old and battered, was yet something new in that it got a regressive makeover. The vehicles we’ll see in Rogue One are even more “classic,” as they’re taken straight from A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, and there will be more of them.
But there’s nothing old and battered about the ships in Rogue One. The Death Star, in fact, is as fresh and new as you could hope for. Because the war with the Rebel Alliance is in its infancy, the AT-AT’s and Star Destroyers have probably not seen many battles, making them bright and clean and dangerous, as well. It’s all telling one specific message: the Empire is at the height of its power in Rogue One, and Jyn Erso and her rebel friends have their work cut out for them.
Congratulations to everyone at ILM for their amazing accomplishments in Rogue One, The Force Awakens, and beyond.