Did you sit and watch Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and wonder just how they were able to bring everything together? The incredible creatures, the epic battles, and some galactic twins as their younger selves? Well the wizards at ILM shared an exclusive video with Vanity Fair showing a visual fx reel highlighting their incredible work. Spoilers for the movie ahead.

Right off the bat we were able to see a snippet into how they utilized the unused footage of the late Carrie Fisher. They were able to take footage of Leia walking away nervously and paint an entirely new outfit and hairstyle on her. It turns out to be one of the better shots in the film with her likeness used. Speaking of Leia, in order to get the footage of the younger twins together, ILM used specific shots of both Fisher and Mark Hamill and essentially painted it on a double’s face. It’s very freaky. At least Hamill’s turned out pretty well!

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Some other highlights of the reel included learning little tidbits of information. For example: the epic shot of all the ships around the galaxy coming to save the day, that was 16,000 ships and it took 8.4 million hours of processor to render. Crazy! The effects team also had to create a brand new CG water system because the ocean during Kylo Ren and Rey’s fight was completely digital. It’s incredible with how much they were able to pull off.

The reason ILM is sharing this reel is because the team is up for an Oscar for Best Visual Effects. The Rise of Skywalker is also up for Best Sound Editing and Best Original Score. With the tireless work of everyone who helped bring this movie to life, let’s hope they are able to bring back a win.

How much did you enjoy the effects in The Rise of Skywalker? Are you amazed to see them bring it to life or do you think some of the effects take you out of the film? Let us know! Be sure to come back to Geek Girl Authority for more Star Wars news. You can watch the video exclusively on Vanity Fair here.


Erin Lynch