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Rian Johnson Says Next 'Star Wars' Will Have Less CGI, More Practical Effects

The virtual sets of the prequel trilogy are a thing of the past

Rian Johnson 2008 - H 2014
AP Photo/Evan Agostini
Rian Johnson

As if videos from the set of J.J. AbramsStar Wars movie featuring live-action alien costumes and full-scale X-Wing Fighters haven’t been enough of a clue, Rian Johnson, who will pick up the franchise after Abrams, says Star Wars: Episode VII will feature more practical, traditional effects.

“They’re doing so much practical building for this one. It’s awesome,” Johnson said on the latest Girls in Hoodies podcast. “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.”

“I probably sound like a grumpy old man talking about it,” Johnson continued. “I do wonder because I think kids are growing up watching those and that’s the thing that they love now, so I don’t know whether it is a generational thing, and it could be.”

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Of his own Star Wars movie, Johnson joked that it’s “boring to talk about, because the only thing I can really say is, I’m just happy,” adding “I don’t have the terror I kind of expected I would, at least not yet. I’m sure I will at some point.”

Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII will be released in December 2015, with Johnson’s Episode VIII scheduled for a 2017 release.