'Star Wars Episode VII' Will NOT Be Filmed Digitally

Star Wars Hyperspace

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. 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.

'Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith'

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.


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