STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Set Photos Begin to Leak Online

     June 2, 2014


The mystery box is insignificant next to the power of the Force.  Filming on Star Wars: Episode VII began a couple weeks ago in Abu Dhabi, and now set photos have begun to leak out.  The images are what you’d expect from a Star Wars movie in terms of set decoration and costume design, although they’ve been slightly updated and I can believe that the fashion and technology glimpsed in these photos come 30 years after the original trilogy—different, but not so much that they bear almost no resemblance to previous designs.  Additionally, true to what producer Kathleen Kennedy said back in 2013, there will be practical effects, and these images provide a look at a new creature.

Hit the jump for more on the Star Wars: Episode VII set photos .  The film opens on December 18, 2015 and stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow.

TMZ has posted over 40 images from the set, and the biggest surprise is that they’re using a practical creature, which means that there will (hopefully) be more practical effects throughout the movie.  That doesn’t mean practical effects are inherently better, but it’s an encouraging sign that the production recognizes practical and digital effects as tools that can be used to best tell the story.  I’m not exactly sure what the story is behind this creature, which looks like someone crossbred a warthog with a rhinoceros and then sat on it, but it’s a fun design.


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  • Cedhollywood

    Lucas went too far with the prequels with CGIng just about everything he could which made everything feel “souless” and really fake. Hopefully Abrams will have a balance with real sets,locations,models and CGI.

    • fluxCAPS

      It looked fake because the CG work was very low quality, almost cartoony. How Lucas thought he could get away with that – when both Weta & ILM were producing photo-realistic stuff at the same time – is beyond me.

      • James

        Here here! Attack of the Clones looks the worst, and amazingly they built a good deal of models for various landscapes and interiors, but the camera lucas used made everything look like 1970′s Dr Who. Unforgivable when you imagine how well Minority Report and LOTR looked at the time.

  • The Flobbit

    I’m still on the fence about this. I like that Abrams is going back to using models and practicals, but models alone have a tendency to look campy. Is campy what we want? And how will this old-fashionedness clash with Abrams’s shiny, bright, Apple-esque visual palette?

    • Neo Racer

      Go back and watch Empire. Tell me what’s campy there

      • The Flobbit

        Congratulations on missing the point entirely. Who brought up Empire?

    • Sweet Pea

      Nothing in Jurassic Park looks campy either, was watching that this weekend and thinking how much better they hold up than CGI… Agree with Neo Racer too, Yoda from the original trilogy looks a million times better than Yoda from Eps I-III…

      • The Flobbit

        I absolutely agree. But it’s not the quality of the puppet, it’s what the puppet looks like. You can have a photo-realistic puppet that looks like a cartoon character, and it’s still going to look like a cartoon character. I guess I just don’t like the cartoonishness of the giant pig-alien.

  • Stefan Bonomo

    While I’m a defender of CG, I’ll always love puppets. They have this charm that I just really enjoy watching. Both of these designs we’ve seen I love, I want those puppets! If this is what we’re getting, then bring em on!

    • The Flobbit

      Puppets have a charm, but in my opinon nothing beats makeup and prosthetics. See Hellboy or Lord of the Rings or Pan’s Labyrinth for examples. That’s why I like the way Guardians of the Galaxy is going: with full-body prosthetics with crazy detail.

      I hope Abrams takes note as well.

    • WAldenIV

      The puppet in the image above is terrible; it looks like a Jim Henson creation rejected from “Labyrinth”. I’m all for practical effects but I hope Abrams can find some degree of consistency with the original trilogy.

  • Dmula

    Looks great,I’m very excited to see actually sets.I think that’s something movies have been missing a while from now

    • The Flobbit

      I have to disagree. Movies may have a tendency to use computer generated landscapes, but there are giant spectacular sets featured in recent films:
      - Hogwarts, the Ministry
      - The Batcave
      - Inception’s rotating hallway
      - Laketown, Rivendell, Beorn’s house, Mirkwood

      It would be a grave injustice to look past the detailed, complicated, time-consuming, brilliant work done by set guys and production designers creating original sets for movies. I’m happy to see giant sets being created for Brett Ratner’s Hercules, and entire towns being built for The Hobbit, and other directors using practical effects supplemented and boosted by digital ones. It’s not a forgotten art.

      • Dmula

        True but that’s only true with a handful of directors

  • aceshigh

    I’m not anti CGI by any stretch. Here’s the thing: CGI is a tool. It can be either used or misused. It can create images of incredibly beauty and wonder, or make you want to throw up.

    Peter Jackson, for the most part, used CGI masterfully on the LOTR films, and is now misusing and abusing it repeatedly on the Hobbit films, to their detriment.

    Lucas and the prequels? Doesn’t even need to be discussed.

    I’m pretty sure Abrams will strike the right balance between practical and CGI.

  • Royale With Cheese

    TMZ: You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

    • The Flobbit

      What does that make Latino Review? I’m thinking one of those grungy old bars with the shady, overweight, 6-limbed DJ.

      • Lex Walker

        I want to say the Sarlacc pit. It eats everyone who enters alive and no one ever escapes. Except for motherfreaking Boba Fett…wait….that’s not canon anymore(though it could be).

      • Grendal Sven

        Remember, this is the same guy that said Khan wasn’t in the last Star Trek movie.

        Trust nothing.

  • Demon Knight

    No one is speculating about the content of the picture. Odd.

  • huehuehue

    George Lucas: “Set photos? What’s a set??”

  • yrulaughing418

    Setting looks like Tatooine
    Hopefully the creature isn’t another antisemitic caricature

  • milo

    Just watched Into Darkness again, and man that is an amazing looking movie. Obviously some is sets and some is CGI but it’s hard to tell where the seams are. If he can get a great script I have no doubt he can direct the hell out of this.

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  • John Smith

    Episode 1 has the perfect middle ground between real sets/puppets and cgi. Hopefully it’s like that.