Skip to content

Behind the Magic – Star Wars: The Last Jedi visual effects wizardry revealed in videos

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is still out in theaters bringing in a few million here and there with a worldwide box office that is now north of $1.33 billion. The talents of thousands of people go into making a movie like The Last Jedi, which looks deceptively simple at times, but even a simple shot can have multiple layers of visual effects in it.

Thanks to the talented folks at Industrial Light and Magic, the effects wizards behind much of the magic in every Star Wars movie, we now get to pull back the curtain on the production and see how they made the magic. You can see why the work on The Last Jedi was nominated for an Academy Award for Visual Effects.

ILMvisualFX team has released a series of videos that shows just how layered and impressive a feat certain scenes in The Last Jedi were:

1) Bombing Run

2) The Hangar

3) Battle of Crait

4) Creating Supreme Leader Snoke

That motion capture performance by Andy Serkis as Snoke was fantastic. It was interesting to see that they also had an actor on stage, and a dummy, to act as a placeholder for filmmakers and actors as they shot each scene.

You can download or pick up a blu-ray DVD copy of Star Wars: The Last Jedi later this month. Here are the details:

Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi — the next action-packed chapter of the Star Wars saga — earned critical acclaim and the No. 1 spot atop 2017’s list of highest-grossing films. The visually stunning film welcomes the return of original characters, including Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, Yoda, R2-D2 and C-3PO and further explores the deepening journey of the saga’s new members, Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo Ren. Now families can bring home the movie digitally in HD and 4K Ultra HD and via Movies Anywhere on March 13, two weeks before the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, and Blu-ray disc on March 27. This release also marks Disney’s first title available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc in both Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos immersive audio, delivering consumers a transformative viewing experience.

Director Rian Johnson takes fans on an intimate journey into the creation of Star Wars: The Last Jedi in a feature-length documentary, explaining his unique interpretation of the Force, detailing the painstaking process of creating Snoke, and deconstructing action-packed scenes from the film such as the epic space battle and the final confrontation. Johnson also reveals two exclusive scenes, featuring Andy Serkis as Snoke prior to his digital makeover, as well as 14 never-before-seen deleted scenes, in addition to his audio commentary.

Bonus features include*:

  • The Director and the Jedi – Go deep behind the scenes with writer-director Rian Johnson on an intimate and personal journey through the production of the movie—and experience what it’s like to helm a global franchise and cultural phenomenon.
  • Balance of the Force – Explore the mythology of the Force and why Rian Johnson chose to interpret its role in such a unique way.
  • Scene Breakdowns
    • Lighting the Spark: Creating the Space Battle – Get a close-up look at the epic space battle, from the sounds that help propel the action, through the practical and visual effects, to the characters who bring it all to life.
    • Snoke and Mirrors – Motion capture and Star Wars collide as the filmmakers take us through the detailed process of creating the movie’s malevolent master villain.
    • Showdown on Crait – Break down everything that went into creating the stunning world seen in the movie’s final confrontation, including the interplay between real-word locations and visual effects, reimagining the walkers, designing the crystal foxes, and much more.
  • Andy Serkis Live! (One Night Only) – Writer-director Rian Johnson presents two exclusive sequences from the movie featuring Andy Serkis’ riveting, raw on-set performance before his digital makeover into Snoke.
  • Deleted Scenes – With an introduction and optional commentary by writer-director Rian Johnson.
  • Audio Commentary – View the movie with in-depth feature audio commentary by writer-director Rian Johnson.

* Digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer.

I still want to run off and get a job at ILM. I’ll sweep the floors if I have to.

Will you be purchasing a copy of Star Wars: The Last Jedi for your at-home collection?