You can bag on the Star Wars prequels for dozens of reasons, including the worst one of all. But while we can’t vouch for any sort of unintentional political statements, we do know one thing: Star Wars: Episode VII is ditching the CGI as much as possible.
That isn’t just idle speculation, based on the fact that we’ve seen enormous amounts of practical building. It’s confirmed by Rian Johnson, who you might remember has the job of writing and directing the next two. The Hollywood Reporter covered his comment on a podcast (we know, we know, it’s Grantland, but it’s worth it), and, well, try and not get giddy about this:
“I think people are coming back around to [practical effects]. It feels like there is sort of that gravity pulling us back toward it. I think that more and more people are hitting kind of a critical mass in terms of the CG-driven action scene lending itself to a very specific type of action scene, where physics go out the window and it becomes so big so quick.”
In Alexandra DuPont’s breakdown of Episode III, the only tolerable prequel, she points out why CGI was so detrimental to these movies: they had the budget and Lucas had the fussiness to show off just how “real” CGI was, even if that meant the movie drags. Ironically, the CGI actually took away from the practical effects work that was actually in the prequels, of which there was a lot; it was that overdone. So this is exciting in more ways than one; it means we won’t have a movie stretched out by tech demos. Now if only they’ll explain how Luke’s hand got into space…