Dennis Muren during 20th Anniversary Premiere of Steven Spielberg's "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" - Arrivals at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Movies - TV
Star Wars VFX Legend Dennis Muren Admits Han Solo's Defrosting Didn't Make 'Any Sense'
Most people love the original “Star Wars” trilogy, but they’d begrudgingly admit that many of the issues that would later define the prequels began taking shape in “Return of the Jedi.” Whether it’s the annoying Ewoks or poor dialogue, the cracks in the franchise’s quality started here, with its biggest offender being the convoluted opening and nonsensical special effects.
The film begins with the heroes’ attempts to save Han from his carbonite prison, a defrosting process shown by beams of light shining from within. Visual effects supervisor Dennis Muren admitted its silliness, saying, “I don’t know why there are all these shards of light coming out. Logically, it didn’t seem to make any sense. But it looked nice.”
To create the scene, he shared, “I think it was either done with heat or with stop-motion. I can’t quite remember which we did, but we did it many, many times to break those pieces off.” The effect seems goofy, but Muren added, “It’s funny how that’s been copied in so many movies since then, where something’s supposed to happen and these shards of light come out in straight directions.”