‘Star Wars Episode VII’ Will NOT Be Filmed Digitally

Published 2 years ago by

Star Wars Hyperspace Star Wars Episode VII Will NOT Be Filmed Digitally

Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm – and the accompanying announcement of new Star Wars films – was met with mixed reactions from fans. After all, the prequel trilogy was heavily criticized by longtime fans of the franchise, and the six-film arc that focused on the rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker seemingly concluded with Return of the Jedi.

However, the announcement that J.J. Abrams – a self-professed Star Wars fan in his own right – would direct Episode VII has somewhat dulled fan worry that this new trilogy would repeat the mistakes of Lucas’ prequels. Hopes that the upcoming films would look to the original trilogy for inspiration have since been supported by the return of the original stars and (of course) composer John Williams to the Star Wars universe in Episode VII. Now one more vital element of the film’s production will harken back to the original.

BobaFettFanClub.com reports that cinematographer Daniel Mindel will be shooting Episode VII for Abrams, and Mindel has revealed that the film will be produced on 35mm film instead of the digital process used on the previous film. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was the last entry in the franchise to use film stock.

revenge of the sith Star Wars Episode VII Will NOT Be Filmed Digitally

Mindel has worked with Abrams on Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, so his involvement with the director’s Star Wars project isn’t much of a revelation. Frankly, neither is the news that they’ll be shooting Episode VII on film stock – Abrams has yet to shoot a film digitally and has a history of emulating the style of old films (Super 8, anyone?).

This is not to say that Episode VII will be complete devoid of his signature lens flares. It does mean that the new Star Wars film will not be shot in 3D – though it will likely be post-converted – and is more likely to feature a balance between digital and practical effects. In short, this is simply the latest development in a series of gradual news items to suggest that Episode VII just might be headed in the right direction.

Are you encouraged by the news that Abrams will shoot Episode VII on film, or would you prefer he stick with the digital process that Lucas used on Episodes II and III? Let us know in the comments section below.


Star Wars Episode VII is currently rumored to hit theaters in December 2015.

Source: BobaFettFanClub.com

Follow Robert Yaniz Jr. on Twitter @crookedtable
TAGS: Star wars
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  1. Best news to come from this movies so far!

    • a film is a film you agure like the worlds ended well i like star wars i dont like selfish moaning geeks who think they can get their own way it is a star wars film like the prequels and jar jar is cool

      • No.

  2. Sounds like a step backwards to me. Please no lens flares.

  3. Every article I read on the topic of Episode 7 makes me more and more optimistic. I started being cautiously optimistic, but now I am genuinely excited for the new film. I trust Abrams can do well. (considering his success with the Star Trek franchise)

  4. Midi-chlorians and Jar-Jar has ruined Star Wars for me!

    JJ will have so much lens flair and action, action, action that this is just going to be another action movie in space!

    no one does good sci-fi anymore.

    • Oh, the irony of JJ and Jar-Jar makes me giggle.

    • Check out Oblivion. Someone does.

      • Oblivion do you mean promethamatrix 2001 a space rip off.
        I loved that movie,the director made so many brave artistic choices like not letting character development, or story telling, get in the way of his vision of a dystopian future in which apple has taken over the world.

        • Unplug your router please.

        • Ahh, no. Not that one, Sparky.

  5. I’ll probably sound like an idiot but can someone explain this to me a bit more? Like I see loads of people on comments on here and other sites are happy about this and such, but why?

  6. Finally, some good Hollywood news.
    Love digital, but there’s a time & place for it…and Star Wars ain’t it!

  7. Film is still superior to digital at this point in time.
    I prefer the look and fully support this decision.

    Movies shot on film stock are rarely projected as
    film today and this film too will be projected digitally.
    While not quite as good as the good old days it is the
    the best look attainable with Nolan the master doing it.

    I am surprised J J Abrams felt this way as there seem
    to be few directors who have not moved to digital.

    • “Film is still superior to digital at this point in time”

      Spoken like someone with no clue what they are talking about.

      • Spoken like someone who only gauges superiority by technical aspects (higher numbers = better) and not by aesthetics/visual appeal.

        There is something about very clean digital images that makes things look kinda dead and sterile, while the grain and little imperfections in film make movies look alive. It sounds absurd, I know, but it’s true and makes all the difference. That’s why film will always be superior to digital.

        • Well said.

      • It is you, Mommy, who is clueless.

        Christopher Nolan himself has been the
        most articulate spokesman for the superior
        image rendering of film over digital which he
        likens to watching television on the big screen.

        This is what J.J. Abrams just said similarly:
        “I have not yet shot a movie digitally. Film is the thing I am most comfortable with. If film were to go away — and digital is challenging it— then the standard for the highest, best quality would go away.”

      • I answered below with a few technical reasons and
        I’ll repeat them for you here, Mommy, since you need help:

        Film is ultimately higher in resolution than digital.
        Better for detail and large image projection.

        Film produces a “first-generation” image in that it is a direct
        representation of the light that entered the camera, unlike digital.

        The dynamic range of film, which is its ability to retain
        details in highlights and shadows, is greater.

    • J.J. Abrams used to shoot on film. He shot Mission Impossible 3 on film, he shot Star Trek on film and he shot Super 8 (mostly) on film. He was pressured into using digital for Into Darkness by the studio, because they wanted to have the movie in 3D. Him going back to film is only a return to what he likes to use.

      • JJ was pressured to go digital on STID but
        he actually held his ground and shot it on film.

        • Really? Even better. I couldn’t really tell through the 3D mumbo jumbo. Looking forward to the Blu-ray in two weeks.

          • Everyone was surprised. Digital transfer is one
            area where things have really improved and
            the Blu-ray should be great because there
            was a great digital master made of STID.

          • Yeah! Some of the movie was even shot on 70mm IMAX. From IMDB tech specs on the movie:

            Negative Format:
            35 mm (Kodak Vision3 200T 5213, Vision3 500T 5219)
            65 mm (horizontal) (Kodak Vision3 200T 5213, Vision3 500T 5219)

  8. it all depends on what type of theater he’s filming for. If hes planning on putting Star Wars in 3D IMAX, then I would shoot it in IMAX 3D cameras. If it’s not in 3D, then perhaps it will be ok.

    • Regardless of Abrams views, disney will post convert to 3D and release it in IMAX format. because 3D = $$.

      I think shooting on 35mm will give the movie a look and feel more in line with what we, the fans expect.

  9. EXCELLENT NEWS!! Looks like they are taking the outraged fans with seriousness. Now if someone could please get them to recast Batman, I’ll be happy.

  10. F**k star wars, Only in a cinema landscape this s***** would we be getting excited about a sequel to a boring 30yr old film, about a sister f**king ninja wizard, who goes on a pointless space romp with a gay cowboy and his hairy down syndrome life partner.They all got space aids and died the end. Move on hollywood.

    • The d-bag is strong with this one

      • No doubt.

      • I lold. Hats off.

      • Do you get a little clit boner ever time you get to use a star wars reference.

        • You don’t know the power of the dark side

        • I hope you’re swallowed by your vagina.

          • Where you’ll be slowly digested for a thousand years…

            • With Fett.

            • Haaaaaahahahaha! This comment made me laugh so hard!!

        • You are not fooling anyone, notwearinghockeypants.
          There is a reason why you cannot wear those pants.

      • :D :D

        The dark side clouds everything.
        Impossible to see the future is.

        • My friend says he does not like you

          • If he does not, pleased I am.
            If he did, problem would I have.

          • I’ll be careful.

            • Daba ga jibi con Wookie

              Eeeeeee hehehehehe!!!

      • Haha, nice retort, cranium.

    • I know live most be miserable for you.

      Look, why don’t you just walk up stairs, our of your parents basement. Find a news paper, look for a job, take a shower, go look for a job, find a job, work the job, get paid…BE HAPPY.

      • That’s life.

  11. JJ Abrams has the soul of a great old time director. This is very good news indeed!! Star Wars is in great hands with JJ and Kathleen Kennedy. They know what they’re doing.

  12. I’m impressed. This is great news especially for the aesthetic value of this blockbuster.
    Integrity move. Well done, J.J..

  13. I love this news because it means that Episode VII will look a lot more like the OG trilogy.

  14. I bet the only reason why ppl hate the prequels is because of jar jar binks.

    • Well, you lost your bet. For me, there are many other problems than Jar Jar Binks. I border-line hated Episode I. I found the plot boring, the acting poor overall (especially the kid who played Anakin), the limited role of Darth Maul, the pod race, etc. I somewhat liked the second film. I liked Episode III the most out of the second trilogy.

  15. To be clear, even if they shot digitally, it would not be the same as Episodes 2 & 3. Digital technology has come a long way since then, and RED’s new Dragon sensor promises to have more dynamic range than film, and from early reports, it looks like this sensor surpasses film in overall image quality.
    So, shooting on film or digital these days really does not matter. It comes down to how well the story is told.
    And I’m sure JJ will do a great job in that regard.

  16. I just means that natural environment will be real(for the parts that are close the actors) and probably some robots. But i can’t see more then this.

  17. I hope they shoot the epic sequences in 65mm. *Drool*

    Mmmm medium format.

  18. If JJ has more then 2 shots of Lens Flares I will jump off a building with a suicide note blaming him for it!

    • …and you think this will bother Abrams (or ANYONE else for that matter) why?

  19. 3D 60fps, come on dont want 100 year old techniques in a digital world.

    • And yet film still looks better than your digital world.

    • And I don’t want quality-degrading gimmicks in an art form.

  20. Honestly I like the look of episode II, and III. I like how Yoda looked in those two. And someone mentioned no lens flare. I couldn’t agree more. Okay yeah that was okay with Super 8, and his two Star Trek films. But to do that to Star Wars is just wrong. I hate how that’s going to look. Also why do people complain about how Lucas did it? Honestly he did a great job I think. I mean Star Wars was his idea, and his creation. I mean if he did so bad with the prequels then why did it do so well at the box office. It was good. Personally I don’t think JJ should even touch Star Wars. I mean he’s doing Star Trek already.

    • “I mean if he did so bad with the prequels then why did it do so well at the box office.”

      One word: “denial”

  21. Excellent. Digital Cameras may have their advantages but real film still looks the best, especially when used with anamorphic lenses. Now, if they could stay away from any excessive color grading as well we’d be in for a real treat as far as the cinematography is concerned.

  22. I’m not too picky when it comes to film vs digital. Both can work just as good if used properly, and if shot properly.

    That said, film does have a certain uniqueness that digital can’t recreate, and seeing as the originals were filmed using film, I’m happy about this.

    Every new piece of Star Wars news makes me even more amped!

  23. Oh MAN I hope he’ll be using IMAX too. Or is it confirmed it’ll solely be 35mm?

  24. Yeah, lens flares. I want more of them. Oh, Abrmas is such a hack, he still can’t realize lens are just DISTRACTIONS.

  25. Gag.

    The only reasons people think “A little film grain looks better” is because it’s what they’re used to. It’s the same b******* reason people think 60fps looks “wrong.”

    • And on an equal level of argument I’ll respond to that by saying you’re just a 3D fanboy who’s a sucker for tech-gimmicks.

      My point with this response is solely to show how dumb these types of arguments are. Film is factually still the highest quality image, ergo it’s a win, period. It also means it can’t be shot in 3D, which I find horrible and lessens the chance I can see it in the best format for a film: a normal screen without BS flying at me.

      As for your framerate comment: I dislike 60fps because I actually genuinely like 30fps, it adds a form of flair to it which makes it look more fantastical then real life ever could. I also like the use of slow-motion etc. I won’t say 60fps looks wrong, but I have every right to not like it.

      Oh and I’m 24, so don’t give me the “you’re old” reply. Just accept not everybody agrees with you, and apparently in this comment section, that’s the majority.

    • It’s called personal taste. That isn’t BS but every person’s perogative. If I wanted to I could turn your argument right around: “Digital/60fps is awesome” is just because it’s new and all the fad, but I won’t.

      So what if we’re used to it? If we like it better we like it better. End of Story.

    • Film is ultimately higher in resolution than digital.
      Better for detail and large image projection.

      Film produces a “first-generation” image in that it is a direct
      representation of the light that entered the camera, unlike digital.

      The dynamic range of film, which is its ability to retain
      details in highlights and shadows, is greater.

  26. I tought they’ll use HFR 48FPS. Guess I was wrong.

  27. I keep reading these Star Wars articles, caring less and less about this movie. I do think it will be better than 1-3, but nowhere near as good 4-6. So what’s the point of a mediocre movie, other than $$$$$$$$$$

  28. I’m not impressed, choosing digital was wrong in 1997 to 2005, but not for past 5 years.
    Try to wach your 35mm Star Wars 7 transfer to 4K blu-ray download on a 4k screen in two years time. You’ll be dissapointed.

    • Yes, and an analogue print of a movie projected on a gigantic screen at the theater looked terrible back in the old days.

  29. I have to say, I’m totally jazzed about it being on film stock and not another 3D annoyance. Simply tell the story and if you do it well, you don’t need all the gimmicks.