Thursday, February 4, 2016

Jar-Jar and the Phantom Menace

Let's talk Star Wars for a sec. Yes everyone is talking about Star Wars these days because of the new re-boot, but  what makes a sic-fi like Star Wars interesting if not ground breaking? I believe it is the special effects in the films.
The first trilogy without a doubt made stop motion seem flawless in space and on the frigid plains of Hoth. The second trilogy however, didn't waste time with stop animation but used computer animated graphics instead. This, at the time (1999), was a monumental task and a daring undertaking. I grew up watching the prequels and to me I grew up with the expectation of CGI creatures like Jar-Jar Binks. Which brings me painstakingly to my next point, Jar-Jar Binks. Jar-Jar was the first fully animated creature when Phantom Menace came out. Jar-Jar was played by Ahmed Best, who wore a suit that resembled the creature, this suit at first did not have tracking devices, it was only in post production that animators realized that to better convey actions they would need to track Best's movements. The animators then could have their way with the expressions. Overall the reaction to Jar-Jar as a character is that it could have been done without, but I still think that without Jar-Jar, the path for other movies like I, Robot that rely heavily on CGI would have been difficult. Above is a special on making the film and gives a more in-depth look at creating the the special effects.

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