Star Wars 7 will have less CGI, more real effects

Special effects... Return of the Jedi battle scene (Credit: Lucasfilm)

'Star Wars: Episode VII’ will go back to basics according to producer and Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy.

In front of a packed crowd at the Star Wars Celebration Europe convention in Essen, Germany – where she also confirmed that composer John Williams will return - she discussed the importance to mixing CGI with practical filmmaking.

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“The conversation we’re having all the time now about ‘Episode VII’ is how much CGI. We’re looking at what the early ‘Star Wars’ films did; they used real locations with special effects. So [for ‘Episode VII’] we’re going to find some very cool locations, were going to end up using every single tool in the toolbox.

Asked to elaborate by host Warwick Davis, Kennedy said she was inspired by the fan costumes at the convention.

“I was amazed yesterday and looking at what the fans are doing. Using model makers, using real droids, taking advantage of the artwork that you can touch and feel, we want to do that in combination with CG effects.”

The remarks received a rapturous reception from fans, many of whom felt that the ‘Star Wars’ prequel movies relied too heavily on green-screen trickery, and not enough on the practical ingenuity seen in the original films.

She revealed the ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ team, including director JJ Abrams and his writers at production company Bad Robot, are currently working on new characters for the film.

“I think we have the opportunity to create amazing new characters. Story and character are all we’re talking about right now.

“I spend half my week at Lucasfilm in San Francisco, the second half with JJ and writing team at Bad Robot. The focus every day is lengthy story meetings and there’s some great stuff coming out of those discussions.”

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She also said she’d discussed the tone of ‘Episode VII’ with George Lucas.

“George kept saying Episode VII must be aspirational, be fun, and have a sense of humour.  And I think he’s absolutely right.”

‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ is set for release in 2015.