No one’s ever really gone… Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, is the final installment in the Skywalker saga. The series finale drew on the skilled effects artists, engineers, and production teams from all five studios of ILM – San Francisco, London, Vancouver, Singapore, and Sydney – with senior visual effects supervisor Roger Guyett and producer Stacy Bissel leading the global effort.
From the creation and subsequent destruction of the ice world Kijimi, the Sith stronghold Exogol, the high-speed skiff chase in the deserts of Passana, and the massive waves at Kef Bir, The Rise of Skywalker takes us to an exciting array of new locations in the Star Wars universe created with the help of visual effects. The team created also all manner of spacecraft, creatures large and small, and even some a few Droids such as D-O.
Of the many challenging effects that the team had to undertake, repurposing Carrie Fisher’s previously unused takes from episodes VII and VIII to create a whole new performance suitable for this story was a tremendous one. Crafting the new performance would require careful planning by the filmmakers and some deft sleight of hand by the visual effects team. Camera moves from the original shots were painstakingly replicated in CG and output for motion control, Dan Mindel’s on-set lighting for the new shots had to match precisely to the archival footage as well as ILM’s digital additions such as wardrobe and hair. In the end, we see General Leia in conversation with Rey in a powerful and moving scene that couldn’t have been possible any other way.
Each Star Wars film brings a unique set of challenges. This film had virtually every type of visual effect in the book and added a few new chapters as well.