Is ILM Nearing The End Of Its Visual Effects Work On Rogue One?


An animation director at Industrial Light & Magic confirmed his work on Rogue One’s visual effects is “at an end.” Does this mean ILM is nearly done animating the standalone Star Wars film?

Industrial Light & Magic, Lucasfilm’s visual effects company, may be nearing the end of its work on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Hal Hickel, an animation director at ILM, tweeted yesterday that he is “(about 99% sure) that my work on #RogueOne is at an end.”

Hickel being finished with his work on Rogue One does not mean ILM as a whole is completely done animating the film. The ILM visual effects creative team is a large one. It stands to reason the body of individual projects needed to bring Rogue One together will be just as extensive.

Should we be concerned that ILM may not have completed Rogue One‘s visual effects yet? The answer is, no. There are almost four weeks until Rogue One‘s premiere in London on December 15th. Often, visual effects like CGI animation are worked on up until the last few weeks or even days before the premiere of the film. For example, Weta Workshop was still animating the eye of the dragon Smaug from the end of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey dangerously close to the movie’s first premiere in New Zealand.

There is no need to worry ILM’s work will be subpar if they end up rushing it to the finish line, either. The visual effects in the Rogue One trailers and television spots have been stunning, phenomenal. The Death Star, the new planets, the ship shots, the eclipse – all are pure eye candy. I’ve said it many times, that even if Rogue One is not a great film plotwise, it will be gorgeous visually. It may even end up being the most beautiful Star Wars film ever made.

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story premieres in theaters on December 16th. Star Wars fans in the U.K. can buy tickets for their December 15th premiere date today.