ILM (a.k.a. Industrial Light & Magic) are the movie magicians behind the special effects for films like Captain America: Civil War, Jurassic World, Tomorrowland, and Pacific Rim, and they’ve been involved with the Star Wars franchise since A New Hope. Now, as they put the final touches on(out December 16th), the VFX studio has released a visual breakdown of some of the most striking scenes from The Force Awakens — and it’s almost as exciting as the movie itself.
While most VFX breakdowns are pretty formulaic — cutting between pre- and post-VFX with your standard music soundtrack — this one is more dynamic with VFX timelapses, animation, and sound effects to show how ILM layered their scenes with CG. Some of the moments featured are Rey’s introduction while scavenging on Jakku, Finn leading Poe Dameron through the First Order space station, their subsequent escape and crash landing in the TIE Fighter, General Hux grandstanding for his troops, the attack on Starkiller Base, and Rey’s climactic lightsaber duel with Kylo Ren.
Watch the featurette below:
As shown through behind-the-scenes imagery, the crew also utilized non-CG effects, such as practical creature designs, props, and vehicles. Lupita Nyong’o and Andy Serkis also performed their roles as Maz Kanata and Supreme Leader Snoke through motion capture.
ILM will also put their stamp on the Force Awakens sequel,, which already wrapped filming with director Rian Johnson and his cast of Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and the like. However, that film doesn’t come out until December of next year. In the meantime, ILM will be working on Doctor Strange, Transformers: The Last Knight, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, and Kong: Skull Island.