Star Wars: Behind The Scenes: Book III: Visual Effects

The series continues...and this is probably the coolest one so far.

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1. Introduction

While preparing for Star Wars in 1975, George Lucas investigated existing optical facilities but could not find "a special effects company equipped to do what I wanted to do. The only course was to start a company of my own to do the special effects, and to start from scratch, hiring young people and, when necessary, training them."

Initially founded to work solely on Star Wars, Industrial Lights & Magic (ILM) combined new technology with old techniques to create stunning visual effects, and went on to produce breathtaking work for over 125 features.

Despite the original trilogy's award-winning visuals, George was frustrated by the technological limitations, and was reluctant to develop a new Star Wars movie "unless I had the technology available to really tell the story I was interested in telling."

Nearly 10 years after the release of Return of the Jedi, George saw the photo-realistic computer-generated (CG) dinosaurs ILM created for Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park (1993) and realized the time had come to return to Star Wars. "With CG at my disposal, I knew I could do whatever I wanted."

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