|STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKERTHE RISE OF SKYWALKERRISE OF SKYWALKERKATHLEEN KENNEDYCOLIN TREVORROWSKYWALKERSTAR WARS|
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...
When the still-untitled Indiana Jones 5 was officially announced, its targeted release date was July 19, 2019. Since then, Disney has pushed back its release date several times, and though we haven’t gotten an update in several months, it sounds like director Steven Spielberg and star Harrison Ford are still on board and the project is slowly inching toward production.
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy offered a quick Indiana Jones 5 update from the BAFTAs red carpet, which you can read below.
“We’re working away, getting the script where we want it to be and then we’ll be ready to go,” Kennedy told an interviewer from the BBC. “Harrison Ford will be involved, yeah. It’s not a reboot; it’s a continuation. He can’t wait. He absolutely is [up for it.]”
Considering all the delays, I suppose there may have been a chance that Lucasfilm had altered its approach to another Indiana Jones movie. After all, Harrison Ford isn’t getting any younger. If the film actually opens on its current release date of July 9, 2021, Ford will be just four days shy of celebrating his 79th birthday when audiences begin pouring in to see the movie. But Kennedy’s comment confirms that Lucasfilm is not interested in rebooting the franchise, and instead are committed to giving Ford one last ride as the famed archeologist/adventurer – and it sounds like the actor is eager to put the fedora on again. Sorry, Chris Pratt.
Back in 2016, Disney CEO Bob Iger was asked whether Indiana Jones might get its own full-fledged cinematic universe, akin to Lucasfilm’s other top-shelf franchise. “Not like Star Wars, no,” he said. “But we hope…right now, we’re focused on a reboot, or a continuum and then a reboot of some sort…we’ll bring [Harrison Ford] back, then we have to figure out what comes next. That’s what I mean.”
The fifth film has gone through the hands of several writers, including David Koepp, Jon Kasdan, and Dan Fogelman – and last we heard, it was back in Koepp’s hands. “I’m working on it again,” Koepp said in September. “We’re still trying. And I think we’ve got a good idea this time. We’ll see.”
Some fans still feel burned by 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Spielberg is definitely aware that he didn’t hit all the right notes for everyone that time around. “I think [Indiana Jones 5] is straight down the pike for the fans,” Spielberg said of the upcoming sequel a few years ago. “The one thing I will tell you is I’m not killing off Harrison [Ford] at the end of it.”
While the internet has been abuzz with the details about Colin Trevorrow‘s leaked script for what would have been his version of the end of the Star Wars saga including leaked concept art that we can’t post here, the filmmaker has already moved on to his next project: Jurassic World 3. He’s hard at work getting the production together, but he took the time to give fans a sneak peek at a new animatronic dinosaur, which should have all you practical effects fans out there excited.Jurassic World 3 Animatronic Dinosaur
next steps pic.twitter.com/8B62vFtDBY
— Colin Trevorrow @colintrevorrow January 31, 2020
We’re not sure if that’s a baby Triceratops, or perhaps more likely, an animatronic version of the baby Nasutoceratops we saw in the Jurassic World short film Battle at Big Rock last fall. The short film was created as a sort of bridge between Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Jurassic World 3, so seeing one of the dinosaurs from the short in the next movie would make perfect sense.
Before the aforementioned short was released, Trevorrow said, “If [the end of Fallen Kingdom] really happened, you’d see a series of random disconnected incidents that would create a pattern of chaos. I wanted to see one of those incidents.” That would seem to imply that whatever is happening in Jurassic World 3 doesn’t give them enough time to deal with the aftermath of dinosaurs being out in the wild.
So what is Jurassic World 3 about? Perhaps it’s about preservation and saving what would be considered new endangered species? After all, this little baby is in a cage, so maybe it’s been saved. Then again, some people from the auction at the end of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom could end up getting their hands on wild dinosaurs and creating their own. At this point, anything is possible.
Jurassic World 3 is slated to arrive in theaters on June 11, 2021.Source: Slashfilm.com