maz kanata visual effects

One of the unfortunate realities of the digital age is that most “How’d they do that?” moments in films have a single, routine answer: computers. Computer generated effects are amazing and the people who craft them are supremely talented artists who deserve your applause and affection, but let’s be honest…green screens aren’t as inherently romantic as matte paintings and movie fans are all romantics at heart.

That’s why film fandom has been so enraptured with the visual effects of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which blends practical, on-set wizardry with plenty of CGI. And as a new featurette reminds us, there are infinite possibilities in the digital realm. This video, which focuses on the Maz Kanata visual effects, goes a long way to injecting the appropriate amount of wonder into the modern VFX process.

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The Jungle Book poster tryptic

Update From Editor Peter Sciretta: Disney has released the third and final piece of this triptych Jungle Book poster. The full triptych can be seen above, and see the final poster up close after the jump.

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Supreme Leader Snoke Photos

During the production of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, fans were hungry for any set photos they could feast their eyes on. Now with the film in theaters and breaking box office records, there aren’t any secrets that can be learned from set photos, but that doesn’t mean they don’t offer a cool glimpse at production, including the climactic lightsaber battle. This is especially true when they come from the film’s cinematographer Dan Mindel.

In addition, the first official stills of motion capture characters Maz Kanata and Supreme Leader Snoke, brought to life respectively by Lupita Nyong’o and Andy Serkis, have been revealed as well. But keep in mind that you may not want to continue after the jump if you haven’t seen The Force Awakens yet, because there will be some spoiler talk. Read More »

The Jungle Book

Following her mo-cap performance as Maz Kanata in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Lupita Nyong’o is reteaming with Disney for Jon Favreau‘s remake of The Jungle Book, in which she’ll play another computer-generated character. Specifically, you’ll hear her voice as Raksha, the wolf who takes and raises in the human boy Mowgli (Neel Sethi).

Raksha didn’t get a lot of screentime in the teaser trailer released this fall (actually, I’m not even sure she was in it at all), but a new photo offers a much better opportunity to get up close with the mother wolf. See the latest Jungle Book image after the jump.  Read More »

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Lupita Nyong'o The Force Awakens deleted scene

J.J. Abrams‘ films are so breathlessly paced sometimes you get the sense more than a few scenes were left on the cutting room floor. When his stories jump from A to C — which isn’t always a problem — you can feel a piece missing. There are a few instances in which this happens in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but not in the case of this deleted scene.

After the jump, Abrams explains a Star Wars: The Force Awakens deleted scene.

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Star Wars Episode VIII cast

Star Wars: The Force Awakens did a bang-up job of bringing us back to the galaxy far, far away. It did justice to our favorite classic characters while introducing fresh faces to fall in love with, including Rey and Finn and Poe. So now that Lucasfilm has us invested in this whole new generation of heroes and villains, what’s next? Who’s coming back in Episode VIII? (Spoilers for The Force Awakens ahead.)  Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

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The world premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens took place Monday night in Hollywood, and you’ve already probably read the first reactions and spoiler-free reviews. But the Force Awakens news bits keep on coming. Lets take a look at the latest Star Wars: The Force Awakens news and tidbits:

  • JJ Abrams confirms that the film’s new X-Wing pilot pays tribute to both Lost & the Beastie Boys
  • The Force Awakens Has Already Pre-sold $100 million in tickets
  • If you don’t want to play the video games to learn about the Force Awakens prequel, here is the story behind the Battle Of Jakku.
  • Lupita Nyong’o Didn’t Realize She Auditioned For Force Awakens
  • Cinematographer Dan Minel explains how he shot The Force Awakens 
  • Check out all the new Force Awakens books and merchandise hitting stores on December 18th.
  • Watch the entire recorded Force Awakens Premiere live stream
  • And the header image was created by artist Jerrod Maruyama, who says “I can’t wait to see what JJ does with George’s toys!”

All this and more in today’s Force Awakens Bits. Alright Chewie, Punch it! Hit the jump for hyperspace!

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Acapella Star Wars

Even people who aren’t Star Wars fans know the iconic fanfare that begins every single movie. The same can be said for the iconic Imperial March used to signify the arrival of the Empire and Darth Vader. And now thanks to The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, his house band The Roots, and the primary cast of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we have an awesome a capella version of those iconic themes that’s presented like the opening credits of The Brady Bunch, but a hell of a lot cooler. Watch! Read More »

force awakens press conference

Update: After the jump we’ve included a video of the entire Star Wars: The Force Awakens press conference, which actually contains a bunch of funny moments we didn’t talk about in our original information-focused report.

 

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