Movie VFX pros revisit the visual effects from the Star Wars prequels

Originally published at:

1 Like

Even at the time i recall being let down by the visual effects. It wasn’t that the effects were bad per se, it was the aggressive use of it in ways that didn’t contribute to the story beyond “we don’t know how to move the plot forward so have an action scene!”. I particularly recall Obi Wan lizard chase scene/fight that took SO LONG that i was bored.


My most vivid “yuck, CGI for CGI’s sake” impression was everything the Hutt.

I mean, most of the rest was forgettable CGI overload, but this stuck.

I’m going to watch that video when I got proper WiFi again, and I would be surprised if this would not be a major point.

1 Like

You might be thinking of the CG Jabba from the Episode IV Special Edition, which is a great (and painful) example of Lucas going full-speed-ahead on something a few years before the technology’s ready for it. (There’s maybe three or four seconds of Hutt in the prequels, and they look pretty good).

Here’s Jabba in the 1997 Special Edition vs. the Jabba they did just two years later for Episode 1.


Even if the technology had been up to the task of digitally inserting a realistic Jabba that scene would have been painful to watch, if only because Jabba was supposed to be so much larger than the stand-in actor Ford was addressing.

Who steps on the tail of the gangster they’re trying to bargain for their life with, and then continues the conversation like nothing happened?


Well, if anyone, the smuggler with the most swagger in the galaxy would. At least in the revised Special Edition with the better-looking Jabba, they gave him a moment of getting ready to deck Han before going back to negotiating. But yeah, it’s honestly an unnecessary scene to show off some new CG tricks that weren’t ready yet.


I hated both. The special edition was especially painful to watch, since we knew the film so well and every new gimmick stood out. In cinema, high-res, it was killing every immersion.
But the prequel Hutt scenes had their own awfulness, I happen to remember. It just felt wrong, as if something with the physics of the CGI was slightly off. The older Jaba are perceived physically heavy, a moving mass. The CGI Hutts, however, feel as if they have their own anti-gravity device in their Hutt butt.


Honestly, they probably would

1 Like

Found bandwidth. Am disappoint. Those guys both bored and annoyed me. And no Hutt. Not even a single one. Instead spacepigs and guys being impressed with gummy bear Yoda. :frowning:

Well, here’s the only appearance of the Hutts in the prequels, in which Jabba shuffles forward like a huge heavy slug, so I’m genuinely not sure what you’re remembering.

Interesting. Yes, I remember this scene and stand by what I said above: both Hutts look weird to me. Sluggish it might be, but still somehow matterless.

Now, why the fuck did this impress me so much that I mis-remember more scenes with Jaba, and (I think) another with both Hutts?

i am actually impressed they didn’t just harsh on everything, which is what most commenters (who are clearly NOT professional animators) do. to hear them say how mind-blowing some things are, even now, let alone in the 1990s gives me a bit of new respect for the prequels. they are still my least favorite of all the SW movies, but at least when i watch them for Ewan’s work in the future i’ll be that much more forgiving.

1 Like

VFX pros are the intended audience for the prequels. Lucas was writing for people who would enjoy state-of-the-art special effects even if they 1) don’t advance the plot 2) are gratuitous 3) don’t feel real. It looks like he succeeded.

I’m always shocked when people express love for the Yoda/Dooku fight scene. I was so disappointed! Yoda shouldn’t fight like a manic green rubber ball bouncing all around, he should fight like an aikido master, barely moving and sending his opponent flying. And then, just to really cap it all off, he’s grunting and emoting how hard it is holding up that falling pillar with the Force when saving Anakin. What happened to “size matters not”, Yoda? And why the hell didn’t you just use the force to pull Anakin out of the way? Ugh. That’s when I gave up hope for the prequels.

1 Like

i don’t know about that. he has always maintained the intended audience of all his SW movies is children.

Really he shouldn’t even have bothered with a lightsaber at all. Empire pretty much established that he was beyond such trinkets, even counseling Luke not to rely on his own. Any being that can lift spaceships with pure will shouldn’t need a laser sword in a fight.

Same goes for Palpatine. He didn’t need a lightsaber to kick Luke’s ass in Jedi, because he was an incredibly powerful sorcerer who presumably could have killed Luke with a thought. The lightning-fingers thing seemed more like a way to torture Luke for fun rather than the only means of attack at Palpatine’s disposal.


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.