With the release date for arguably the most anticipated movie of the year, Star Wars: The Force Awakens now here, IMAX has put out an all-new featurette showing how IMAX cameras and technology were used in the creation of the film. Although the full movie wasn’t shot with IMAX cameras, director J.J. Abrams and cast members discuss certain sequences that were shot with the particular technology. J.J. even states that fans will “be able to experience in a way they haven’t before,” as IMAX has allowed them to enhance the movie experience like nothing the franchise has ever done.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is continuing the iconic story about 30 years after the events in 1983’s Return of the Jedi. Fans have been waiting for over 10 years, as the last film of the franchise debuted back in 2005 (Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith). The Force Awakens also marks the first installation since Walt Disney acquired LucasFilms back in 2012. Thus, while there are many familiar faces and ideas behind this latest film, there are also a lot of new elements being brought in.
For the first time, director J.J. Abrams is taking on the franchise. Creator and former Star Wars director George Lucas, who wanted to pass down the franchise and let it “become its new generation”, handpicked J.J. However, during the production stages of the latest movie Lucas revealed that he didn’t find himself being involved all that much. In an interview he explained, “If I get in there, I’m just going to cause trouble because they’re not going to do what I want them to do, and I don’t have the control to do that anymore, and all it would do is just muck everything up.” Reportedly, Disney was “not too keen” in having Lucas highly involved in the film’s creation.
However, even with a new director, many of the stars of the previous films have returned including Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, and Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker. In addition, actors Daisy Ridley, Lupita Nyong’o and John Boyega have all been added to the cast.
The featurette begins with J.J. explaining how his adoration of IMAX technology inspired him to incorporate it into particular scenes within the movie. Shortly after John Boyega (who plays Finn) talks about seeing the IMAX cameras, which are massive in relation to regular film cameras, while shooting a scene in the desert. From this, it is safe for fans to assume that at least one scene in Jakku is filmed in IMAX.
Later on, J.J. explains, “that feeling of going to the movies and having a fully immersive, powerful, high-quality presentation of the film is something that is more valuable than ever, and I think IMAX stands for that. When you go to see a movie in that format, you know you are going to get something that is the best version of going out to the movie.”
Although some people are choosing to stay away from promotional videos as the release date comes closer and closer, this featurette is relatively safe to watch, as it mainly features footage from already released teasers and trailers. The featurette is more about persuading fans to opt for the IMAX experience when deciding what medium to view the film in. Clearly, filming technology has continued to advance, including in the past 10 years since the last Star Wars movie was released. Therefore, these advancements have been incorporated into the new film and will ideally enhance the experience for viewers – especially for the infamous diehard fans of the franchise.
You can catch Star Wars: The Force Awakens when it hits theaters on Friday, December 18, 2015.