Films

Amazing Star Wars: The Force Awakens special effects reel goes behind the scenes of visual tricks

In the build up to the release of the new Star Wars episode, JJ Abrams had been at pains to emphasise that his film making would incorporate a return to the "classic" visual tricks that had been employed to great effect for the original saga. Forget mass-produced armies. Forget shimmering background scenery. Forget Jar Jar. This would be 'real'.

"Wherever possible, whenever possible, we tried to do things as much in camera as we could," Abrams told the Associated Press back in September. "That meant that a lot of artists... were building things, not with pixels, but with wood and paint and foam, and actually constructing sets that we could have done in post [production with CGI]."

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With that in mind, take a look at the following before-and-after show reel (released to coincide with the film's attempt to build Oscar buzz), revealing those moments when Abrams and his team were able to stick to their promises of making things real - and the points when they had to rely on mind-blowing computer effects.

There's a surprising lack of green screen...