George Lucas Doesn't Understand Why There Were So Many Sets Built For STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI


One of the things that I’m loving about these new Star Wars films that are being made is that the production team are actually building real sets and models, and doing a lot of practical effects to bring the story to life. Yeah, it would be a lot easier to accomplish this with the filmmaking technology we have today, but there’s just something special about all the handmade tangible stuff that just makes it better and more real. I also think it stands the test of time better.

George Lucas still doesn’t seem to care about building sets and models when there’s an easier and cheaper way to do it. As you know, the Star Wars prequel films were mostly shot on production stages covered with blue screen. The sets that were built were very minimal. That’s one of the biggest issues that fans had with those films. He’s apparently still in that mindset.

When he visited the set of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, he questioned why the production team went through all the trouble of building so many sets. The Last Jedi production designer Rick Heinrichs shared the experience with THR, saying:

“We went into Star Wars saying we’re going to do matte paintings and we’re going to be hanging miniatures. That’s the way we’re going to do this cause that’s what George would want. And of course George visited and he’s like, ‘Why are you building all these sets?’ ‘Well, because that’s what you like, isn’t it?’ He’s a cranky guy but his point is that for the big stuff, obviously planets, spaceships flying, when you’re not close enough to see actors in it, there isn’t much point anymore in actually building something.”

Obviously, that’s not what George Lucas would have wanted. He’s still a CGI guy, which kinda makes me glad that he’s not making these Star Wars films anymore.

In case you’re wondering how many sets were built,  Heinrichs said:

“The original script had about 160 sets in it, a ridiculous amount of sets. I didn’t say that to Rian, because I figured on something this big he’ll find that out on his own. It’s a 100-day shooting schedule. So there’s more than one set a day you have to prepare for.”

At the end of the day, there ended up being 125 sets built spread across 14 sound stages. Heinrichs explained:

“The truth is we ended up combining things and trying to be smart about how we’re going to do it. He did do some trimming and cutting. It forced him to actually cut the shoe leather, as they say, and combine things in the script as well and reduce a number of things that way.”

You’ll get to see the awesomeness and beauty of these sets when the film is released, which is today! The movie is in theaters today! Aren’t you excited!?


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