Sunday, 12 July 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Comic Con Reel review

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"We are here on day one of Star Wars episode 7. how incredible is that?"

So it’s been a busy week for releases and news. One of the most important pieces of footage to come out of Comic Con is probably The Force awakens Reel. It sounds strange for a three minute glimpse behind the scenes to cause such a stir but when it comes to Star Wars it is understandable and very easy to see why when you really think about it.
We start by seeing a number of real locations, actual places with a physicality to them that allows the actor to interact with what’s around them. We also see some real and practical sets that are completely built, rather than taking the prequel option of just building sets to the height of the actor’s eye-line so they wouldn’t have to film at a higher angle. A change like that really limits your production and seeing fully built environments is certainly an excellent return to pace.
There are a lot of shots of that crashed TIE Fighter as well, showing it up close, from afar, the scale model and a digitally enhanced Millennium Falcon. It’s all very impressive and works to the advantages of the virtually unlimited budget Disney have given JJ Abrams, clearly he’s not looking for a way to cut costs and at the same time he’s not going overboard with every piece of design, it just looks and feels the way it should.
As Mark Hamill explains there is clearly a large emphasis on ‘keeping one foot in the digital world’. While there are some signs of green screen and CGI they are only being used to enhance an environment that is going on around them. Stormtroopers are being thrown around with wires and stuntmen, news like that is incredible as it would be far easier to use CGI for such an event, but Abrams and the rest of the team are going to the effort or making it feel genuine and truthful. It appears to be very much in touch and has an understanding of what made the originals so great.
So that’s virtually everything you need to know on a technical level but what about clues to the actual plot of them film. There’s a new shot of a Stormtrooper escorting someone to a cell, I’m suspecting a Rebel of some kind. We also get to see a variety of new character models, one of which is operated by Simon Pegg in what must be the best celebrity cameo in cinema history. This is very important as a lot of the charm of those original films came from the fact that there was a genuine feel to each creature and environment. They had a physicality that was always present, be it menacing or hopeful.
We get confirmation that at some point John Boyega and Daisy Ridley will be joining Han Solo aboard the falcon and Chewbacca is also along for the ride. Indecently we also discover that peter Mayhew’s suits are wearing out faster than the designers anticipated because he is constantly getting hugged on set (I mean who wouldn’t want to hug a Wookie right).
This leads on to another important point. There’s definitely a sense of fun within the making of this film, that every member of the production team is struggling to contain their excitement. Pegg announced that he was ‘in heaven’, extras in Stromtrooper armour proclaimed that they could die happy and John Boyega simply said that he ‘had to pause, take a breath, slow down and really not freak out’. As well as this, when JJ Abrams says that ‘this is day one of Star Wars 7’ you can hear the excitement and disbelief in his voice. He’s most definitely a fan that wants to do the best he can for the franchise and fully realises the immeasurable responsibility that rests on his shoulders.
I know many were expecting a full trailer but honestly I think this is better. If they released another trailer now we would either have six months of nothing else to look forward to until the film comes out or Disney would be pressured to release more clips and trailers, potentially spoiling the movie. Showing this is definitely the best way to get fans excited and keep as much of the Force Awakens secret for as long as possible.
So those are some of my ramblings on what the Star wars panel released, what was your favourite part of the footage we saw. Whatever you think comment below to let me know and find me on Twitter with @JoshuaPrice97, don’t forget to recommend Film Fanatic on Google with the icon at the top of the page. Thanks a lot

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