When people think of Star Wars, they think of big visual effects-driven action sequences with lightsabers, spaceships and laser blasts. But the original Star Wars didn’t have nearly as many visual effects shots as the saga films of today. Many of the film’s most amazing shots were done practically without any post-production visual effects work needed. In fact, director Kevin Smith revealed that there are actually more visual effects shots in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back than the original Star Wars.
In a recent episode of his Fatman on Batman podcast (via MovieWeb), Kevin Smith was talking about the upcoming Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, both a sequel and reboot of the film that brought many facets of the View Askewnverse together (and will be debuting a trailer at Comic-Con later this month). During the discussion, he happened to mention this fun bit of trivia about the Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back visual effects:
“This is not bragging and this is not saying this makes me a better filmmaker by any stretch of the imagination, this is just for the layman to show you how far filmmaking and special effects have come from our childhood. We have three times as many visual effects/CG/visual effects in general in Jay and Silent Bob Reboot than they did in Star Wars.”
Of course, that’s not because Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back require those visual effects to tell a grand story. It’s because certain visual effects have become much cheaper and easier to pull off instead of doing certain things practically. Kevin Smith explained that not every visual effects shot is anything super complex or epic in scale:
“Now, that doesn’t mean our movie is like, ‘We’re gonna take you to fuckin’ space.’ It just means everything that counts as an effects shot. So, anytime we had people in a car, we didn’t do a process trailer, we didn’t put people in a car on top of a truck and drive the truck around. We just threw them on a green screen, or put them on a stage with a green screen behind them, and did the backgrounds later. Every one of those shots counts as an effects shot. So, I mean, even though it didn’t cost as much as blowing up the Death Star, they’re both visual effects shots at the end of the day, so when you just count them like that, we have three times as many as they had in Star Wars and we’re not even a visual effects heavy movie.”
That just goes to show you how often you don’t notice visual effects when they’re used in such a mundane way, and it also makes what the Industrial Light and Magic crew and George Lucas pulled off with the original Star Wars that much more impressive.
But let’s not forget that Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back did have a visual effects sequence that was reminiscent of Star Wars, and it even included the original saga’s hero, Mark Hamill:
As for what Kevin Smith has in store for Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, 18 years after Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back hit theaters, we’ll find out more when the director brings a taste of the film to Comic-Con in a few weeks. Stay tuned.
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