The first trailer for JJ Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens was fat with awesome and eye catching moments, but nothing hit the sweet spot quite like the sight of the Millenium Falcon soaring through the sky.
Unfortunately, in that it was only a teaser trailer and in that the film has been shrouded in secrecy because that’s what JJ do, we haven’t had a chance to gaze fully at the wonderment of the all-new Millenium Falcon. That is until now. Sorta.
It’s not a languorous bit of space porn like we saw in Star Trek: The Motion Picture when Kirk eye-f*cked The Enterprise for about an hour (hopefully that will come later), but it’s still a look at the exterior of the iconic ship… and Disney CEO Bob Iger’s head.
The shot is from the cover of the new issue of Fortune Magazine that features an interview with Iger.
According to Fortune, the photograph was painstakingly created by the The Force Awakens‘ visual effects art director.
Lucasfilm’s special effects division, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), worked with Fortune to create both the cover and opening photograph in the story, an inside look at the innovative technologies used across Disney’s diverse businesses and brands. The collaboration started with our photo shoot with CEO Iger earlier this month in New York. The photos were then turned over to ILM to, well, work their magic. Not surprisingly, the secretive division was mum about the exact process for creating the realistic shot of Iger standing right on set, casually leaning against a chunk of metal (the image seen in the opening pages of the story).
As for the cover shot, Yannick Dusseault, visual effects art director for The Force Awakens, and his team gave Fortune six options showing the Falcon in different ways. The resulting image required the custom rendering of ILM’s computer generated Falcon. According to ILM, the fabled ship was rendered in wireframe form (a skeletal version) as well as a more layered “textured render,” which were combined in Photoshop to create the final image.
And it gets better. There’s even a bigger, clearer, less obscured image here.
This is all rather cool, but while Dusseault’s work is impressive and the ship looks great, I really have to commend Iger on his restraint. Because if I was Bob Iger, I wouldn’t have settled for a picture where I’m standing in front of the Millenium Falcon like it was a pinewood derby car that my dad built. I’d throw my “f*ck you” job title around and make them create a few shots where I was piloting the damn thing. Next to Chewbacca. With a digitized 1983 version of Princess Leia in her bikini sitting on my lap while Jar Jar’s head hung from a chain around my neck like a Medal of Bravery.