Kathleen Kennedy and George LucasJeffrey Mayer/WireImage


One of the overriding problems with the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy was that there was precious little in the way of actual locations or sets. Most of the time, actors would be stumbling around a giant empty green warehouse, with everything -- sets, environments, other characters -- filled in later. Now, this would have been fine had the entire thing worked convincingly, but more often than not you could feel that the actors were walking around a giant empty green warehouse, trying desperately to connect with imaginary stuff they wouldn't see until the movie was done.

Thankfully, the new trilogy, which begins with "Star Wars: Episode VII," directed by J.J. Abrams, will have more of the tactile and less of the computerized ephemeral, at least according to one of its producers.

While speaking at the Star Wars Celebration in Essen, Germany, which is basically like Comic-Con but devoted exclusively to "Star Wars," executive producer Kathleen Kennedy (pictured above with George Lucas) said that the new team of filmmakers is "looking at all the 'Star Wars' movies and getting a feel for what even some of the early films did, combining real locations and special effects -- that's something we're looking at very seriously."

Computer-generated monstrosities like Jar Jar Binks and that weird diner owner (remember that guy?) might be in short supply in the new film, too. "It's using model makers; it's using real droids; it's taking advantage of artwork that you actually can touch and feel," Kennedy explained. "And we want to do that in combination with CG effects. We figure that's what will make it real."

"We have an amazing team at ILM, who can create fantastic effects, but if we don't have a great story and characters, the effects mean nothing," Kennedy said of Industrial Light & Magic, the visual effects house started by Lucas for the first "Star Wars."

The team assembled includes director Abrams, screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, who co-wrote "Return of the Jedi" and "The Empire Strikes Back," screenwriter Michael Arndt, who wrote "Toy Story 3" and won an Oscar for "Little Miss Sunshine," and writer/producer Simon Kinberg, who was involved in this week's "Elysium" (amongst countless other things).

"I think the team we've assembled, everyone gets on so amazingly well -- it's been fantastic," Kennedy gushed.

Of course, the real test of how amazingly well everyone has been getting along will be the finished film (or at least footage from it). And that's still far, far away. "Star Wars: Episode VII" is set to hit theaters in 2015.

[via Metro UK]
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