Star Wars Set Photos Show Prequels Used A Lot Less CGI Than You Thought

Newly uncovered shots from the maligned prequels highlight the trilogy’s practical effects.

For all the criticisms leveled at the Star Wars prequels (of which there are many) the most commonly heard is that they relied too heavily on CGI effects.

Fans bemoaned George Lucas’ extensive use of green screen, digital effects, and computer generated characters. They yearned for the practical effects used in the production of the original trilogy that made the films feel so tangible.

[Confirmed: 'Star Wars 7' has begun shooting]

However, a message board thread on ‘Star Wars’ fan site theforce.net has shed new light on the maligned prequels.

Models... Huge miniatures were used to give vehicles real weight and heft (Credit: theforce.net)

Scores of dedicated fans have shared photos from behind the scenes of ‘Phantom Menace’, ‘Attack of the Clones’, and 'Revenge of the Sith’ in a bid to highlight the films' extensive use of practical effects.

The pics reveal that, despite what people think they know, that the prequels used countless practical effects to bring the “Galaxy far, far away” to life.

Pod-racing... The pod-race scenes used a combination of CGI and practical effects (Credit: theforce.net)

Miniatures... Look closer, those crowds of people were tiny models (Credit: theforce.net)

Models... Minature ships were photgraphed against green screens and added into space battles (Credit: theforce …

Huge physical sets were built from scratch, real-life locations were used to stunning effect, giant miniature vistas brought alien planets to life, and things were blown up for real.

['Star Wars' sequels to get $200m budgets]

In one photo you can see Anthony Daniels physically mobilising the C3PO model in ‘Phantom Menace’ with the use of an ingenious puppetry rig.

Puppet... Anthony Daniels operates C3PO on the set of 'Phantom Menace' (Credit: theforce.net)

Sets... Huge practical sets were built to bring locations to life (Credit: theforce.net)

Make up... You can't beat traditional make-up (Credit: theforce.net)

Kathleen Kennedy, the new head of Lucasfilm, has said that ‘Star Wars: Episode 7’ will rely more on practical effects than CGI following fan feedback.

These photos suggest that fans may need to reappraise their preconceptions of the prequels.

See more photos from theforce.net here.

(Credit: Lyndon Berresford)