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

Tom Butler
Yahoo UK Movies News
23 April 2014
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
(Credit: theforce.net)

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.


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.


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.

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.

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