Star Wars: Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow has announced that the ninth installment of the Star Wars saga will be shot on film. Trevorrow, director of Jurassic World, claimed that film is the best choice when shooting a movie such as Star Wars.
“I could never shoot Star Wars on anything but [film], because it’s a period film: It happened a long time ago,” Trevorrow said in a joking manner during a panel on Thursday for the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
For fans of the original series and admirers of the newest installment, Episode VII:The Force Awakens, this news will be surely be a relief.
In the 1970s and 1980s, George Lucas opted to have the first three Star Wars movies shot on film because the digital world was in its infancy. Following in the footsteps of Lucas, J. J. Abrams used film rather than the more cheap and common option of going digital for Episode VII. Abrams believed that film would help to retain the essence of Star Wars; that it would feel real, like it had actually happened somewhere at some time. Film, for Abrams, made Star Wars authentic.
When asked in an interview with ScreenRant concerning the process of uniting old and new in the seventh Star Wars episode, Abrams stated that he had always had a clear direction for the film.
“This was really important, that the movie, in a way, go backwards to go forwards. […] I wanted it to look and feel the way the original trilogy did – which is to say, when I saw those two droids in the desert of Tatooine, that was real. Like, I knew it.”
Even though the practical effects and real sets factor into the experience, the use of film is critical in order to achieve the essence which Abrams sought and which many believe he has achieved.
A few months ago, it was announced that Rian Johnson would be directing Star Wars: Episode VIII, with Abrams staying on as executive producer. Johnson directed the 2012 success Looper, starring Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Emily Blunt. Rian has been praised for his filming abilities and talent, and was awarded a prize for Originality of Vision at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005. Johnson, like Lucas (and Irving Kirschner and Richard Marquand, the directors of Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, respectively) and Abrams, will be shooting the eighth episode of the saga on film.
Colin Trevorrow talked in the panel on Thursday with Christopher Nolan, Rachel Morrison, and Alex Ross Perry about the aesthetics and techniques behind using film. Trevorrow specifically expressed how much he admires the authentic, historic, and timeless nature of film.
“I feel like there’s a link between all of these things: film versus digital, practical versus creating these images in a computer,” Trevorrow explained.
He also stated that people can sometimes think that a director’s tendency to shoot with film is merely a fetish or a trend, like insisting that vinyl is better because it’s more raw and untouched. However, this is not the case for Trevorrow, who summarized why he loves watching movies shot with film.
“Film helps me believe that the thing I’m watching actually happened in a way that digital doesn’t. When […] you’re presenting things that obviously didn’t happen and aren’t happening in our real world, to present it on film, I think it just does something to your ability to suspend that disbelief because it doesn’t feel like it was made inside a computer.”
In his time with the panel, Trevorrow briefly discussed how much he wanted to shoot in space for Star Wars: Episode IX.
“I asked the question, ‘Is it possible for us to shoot IMAX film plates in actual space for Star Wars, and I haven’t gotten an answer yet, but they’ve shot IMAX in space!”
Fellow filmmaker, Christopher Nolan, recently made the nationally acclaimed Interstellar, and said that he addressed the same idea during production.
The world can look forward to seeing the what the next two installments of the Star Wars saga will be like. They look to be promising in their direction and in their aesthetic appeal, but will they live up to fans’ expectations?
[Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision for JAKKS/AP Images]