The tools and skills required to pull together a monster film the size and scale of The Rise of Skywalker is daunting, and ILM teams across the globe were required to bring the VFX to fruition. Here, Magazine by Substance takes a look at how the ILM Singapore team did their work on four key sequences of the film; the Millennium Falcon chase in the space iceberg, the hangar sequence, the escape from the Star Destroyer, and the duel on the sunken Death Star, and chat with ILM Environment Supervisor Elvin Siew and ILM Environment and Generalist Lead Sam Schwier.
Elvin: Led by Doug Chiang, Lucasfilm’s Art Department provided a comprehensive set of artwork for virtually all of the sequences and key shots. There’s an aesthetic to Star Wars that is practically baked into all of our cultural DNA at this point. The challenge has always been to find the look and style that fits each film but that also pushes things forward. From the actual model kit greebles used to build the iconic ships to the overall weathering and aging of every single surface, the team had incredible points of reference to create these new assets and environments.
Sam: We used a lot of references from the original films. The crashed piece of Death Star in the pier battle was all built off a matte painting from the original trilogy, and the main crashed piece of the Death Star that you see in the sea from the clifftop was all based off photos taken of the original model from A New Hope.
It’s a fascinating read, giving some insight into how ILM created these impressive environments.