|STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKERTHE RISE OF SKYWALKERRISE OF SKYWALKERINTERNATIONALSKYWALKERSTAR WARSPOSTER|
There’s one particularly telling and effective moment in The Skywalker Legacy, the feature-lenght documentary that’s included on the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker home release that sums up much of the ambivalence and consternation that some had with J.J. Abrams’ return to the Star Wars universe. After showing the intricate construction of a giant, practical snake monster, the doc cuts back to footage of Jabba The Hutt, that old analogue beast that slithered its way into our hearts. The sentiment is clear – we’re making movies like we used to! A celebration of practical effects, the dripping of k-y jelly to give viscosity just like the old costume days, it’s all there. There’s excitement on set, everyone talking about how amazing it looks, how lifelike, how this is how you’re supposed to do movies like this.
Cut to Visual Effects Supervisor Roger Guyett who shatters the myth, letting us know the creature was replaced by a CGI version in post.
Guyett’s resume is mighty. Having made his bones on groundbreaking films like Twister and Casper, he helped Spielberg bring the events of D-Day to screen in Saving Private Ryan, helped bring to life the best looking film in the Harry Potter series, Alfonso Cuarón’s Prisoner of Azkaban, and even made the theatrical version of Rent feel more than a stage production. Guyett has had many collaborations with Abrams – from the Star Trek Reboots through The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker he was even second unit director on the former, as well as working with George Lucas on Episode III to round off the prequels. He’s in a unique position to speak to these changing landscapes of epic filmmaking.
We spoke at length about the apparent contradictions and indulgences in making a Star Wars film, and he made the case for why nothing was wasted and all contributed to the final presentation. He was erudite and open to the discussion, making for a dream conversation with a man who quite literally has helped shape what amazes us on screen for decades.
The following has been edited for clarity and concision.
We see practical effects being championed as almost a marketing ploy with the “postquels” as a mix of nostalgia and an attempt to delineate from Lucas’ second trilogy. In some ways the love of the practically-realized snake undercuts the extraordinary CGI you and your team accomplished, and raises questions about why the need to fetishize the on-set inclusions when they’re replaced anyway. Could you talk about that ethos, that somehow doing stuff on a computer is a “cheat” while doing an effect practically is not?
I think at the end of the day we’re all trying to do the best that we can, trying to make the best, most dramatic or emotional movie we can visually. I’m coming from figuring out how do you get the most...
The annual Annecy International Animation Film Festival, originally scheduled for June 15-20, has cancelled its 2020 edition given the current coronavirus pandemic. The event, which takes place each summer in the south east of France, will instead operate an online version with the lineup due to be announced April 15. While this would have been Annecy’s 60th anniversary, those celebrations will now be held next year.
Organizers said that “rationale and the international situation compel us to act with lucidity and responsibility. To show our respect and our deep gratitude to the health care providers, as well as all those who choose solidarity and the public interest. Annecy is a party, a ‘family gathering.’ We cannot bring ourselves to celebrate animation and our 60th anniversary when some amongst you would not be able to attend.” See full release below
Rather than postponing the festival to a later date, organizers decided to move online with further details to be disclosed on April 15. Annecy also operates a bustling market whose details will also be elaborated upon next week. The full program schedule will be revealed at the end of April.
A planned tribute to African animation as well as the 60th anniversary festivities will be moved to 2021 when the festival and market are due to take place from June 14-19.
Other international events that are normally held in June and which have been cancelled or postponed include the Cannes Lions conference and the CineEurope exhibition convention. The latter is currently scheduled for August.
Here’s the full memo from Annecy:
It is with tremendous disappointment that we are resigned to cancelling the Annecy 2020 edition.
Over the past few weeks, driven by our passion and our enthusiasm, despite the confinement constraints we were nevertheless hoping to maintain the exceptional edition that we had in store for you. We were so looking forward to greeting you as we do every year in June, in Annecy, the animation film capital of the world.
But today, the rationale and the international situation compel us to act with lucidity and responsibility. To show our respect and our deep gratitude to the health care providers, as well as all those who choose solidarity and the public interest.
Annecy is a party, a “family gathering”. We cannot bring ourselves to celebrate animation and our 60th anniversary when some amongst you would not be able to attend.
We took the decision not to move the Festival to a later date. The necessary facilities and the regular events' calendar, as well as scheduled postponements of other events, do not provide us with a reasonable option.
For several weeks, our founding members, partners, suppliers, professionals and creators have been sending us their full...
Since Solo: A Star Wars Story ended up being a box office disappointment, it’s not likely that we’re going to get a sequel, and that’s coming from the film’s co-writer Jon Kasdan. But if the story arc that began in the spin-off were to continue, it would be awesome if it ended up making Lando Calrissian even more prominent. Apparently artist Peter Stults thought the same thing, which is why he used his quarantine time to make a trio of posters for a film series called The Calrissian Chronicles. Check out the Lando Calrissian trilogy posters and all the cool details within them below.
This imagined trilogy would be directed by Michael Anderson Logan’s Run, with a script Stanley Mann Conan the Destroyer, Irvin Kershner director of The Empire Strikes Back, and story by George Lucas himself. However, instead of John Williams doing the movie, Peter Bernstein The Ewok Adventure would be composing the score.
The overall vibe of the trilogy feels like a mix of 1970s blaxploitation and sci-fi with a little bit of fantasy tossed in there, which you can see in each of the posters below.Peter Stults Lando Calrissian Trilogy Posters
The first installment of The Calrissian Chronicles obviously features Billy Dee Williams in the role of Lando Calrissian. It would also have prominent roles for Tamara Dobson, Ron O’Neal and Moses Gunn. But the best tidbit here is that Shirley Bassey would play Lando’s beloved droid counterpart L3-37.
The second installment looks to have somewhat of an Asian influence with the addition of Tatsuya Nakadai and Meiko Kaji joining the cast. There’s also a role for Vonetta McGee, and Shirley Bassey is still around as L3-37.
In the final installment, a bit Star Wars returns with Peter Mayhew returning as Chewbacca, as well as a “special appearance” by Harrison Ford as Han Solo. Otherwise, the cast expands again with Angela Brent and Robert Urich. However, Shirley Bassey isn’t listed as L3-37 anymore, so maybe she met her end in the second installment.
But the real treat here in this final installment is imagining the introduction of Jean-Claude Van Damme to Hollywood as none other than Darth Maul. It’s a nice reference to the character’s return in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and just thinking about the skilled martial artist playing Darth Maul is so fun.
Unfortunately, we’ll never get to see movies like this with Billy Dee Williams in the lead. But these would make great comic books. Then again, maybe there’s hope for a Lando Calrissian film series starring Donald Glover. After all, Sleight director J.D. Dillard and writer Matt Owens are on the verge of becoming the first black creators to tackle Star Wars behind the camera and on the page, so maybe they have something...