Ron Howard is a part of Star Wars at an interesting crossroads in its visual effects history. The original trilogy offered the best effects at the time through incredible detailed models and great creature makeup and prosthetics. The prequels went so overboard with CGI, that each Star Wars film under Disney’s watch seems to feature less CGI and more practical effects than the last… when possible in the 21st Century. Because, to create a proper Star Wars film, you need a good balance of both practical or “in camera” effects, as well as CGI.
Howard does dealt with CGI in his own films in the past, but nothing near the level he experienced while directing on Solo: A Star Wars Story. Howard spoke about using CG to enhance practical effects at a recent press conference in which LRM’s own Gig Patta was in attendance:
“As great as visual effects and CGI is, even… only the great CGI, the effect supervisors will tell you, you know, in-camera is… is always what you want to go for first. And so, you know, with the Millennium Falcon and with just the great sets and so forth, the approach here always was to try to get as much in-camera as you could, and then, and then build — and that’s what’s so magical and amazing about ILM and what they can do — to make, you know, the experience as palpable and immersive as it could possibly be. It’s a blast. Because the people around a movie like Solo are so dedicated to not just what’s existed before, but what else they could do within that framework, within that, that universe, that galaxy — and creatively it’s… unbelievably stimulating for a filmmaker.”
Howard isn’t kidding. I’ve seen Solo: A Star Wars Story – my review is coming Wednesday – and it seems to have the most practical effects of any recent Star Wars film along with some pretty seamless CGI. I noticed it most with the creatures, never has the universe looked so actually alive with practical creatures since the original trilogy.
Do you think Ron Howard is taking the right approach to CGI with Solo: A Star Wars Story? Let us know in the comment section below!