Putting together a Star Wars takes a long time. That’s not because it takes a long time to write one of these things. God, no! It’s the special effects.
For more than 40 years, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) has been behind the hold up. Revolutionizing special effects every few years can take a while, so famed Star Wars writer Lawrence Kasdan decided to tell that story.
Light & Magic is an upcoming six-part documentary series about ILM, Star Wars’ secret sauce. The company is well-regarded because of the things they do and the talent they birthed, including people like James Cameron, Phil Tippett, and Joe Johnston.
“I realized that in 40 years I never understood how it happened, what I did know is that ILM is a house of geniuses,” said Kasdan, who appeared virtually at the Star Wars Celebration Weekend in Anaheim after testing positive for COVID before the event. “George Lucas and John Dykstra were able to bring these people together in a place that has been unmatched in 40 or 50 years.”
“It was a wild place,” he continued. “At first nobody knew how it was going to work. It was a lot of improvising, which led to a lot of communication. People realizing the skills they had could be expanded. For 40 or 50 years, it’s been that kind of environment, where geniuses can be geniuses.”
At the Star Wars Celebration, many of the people who are featured in the documentary and work at ILM appeared on stage to talk about the legendary company. One of these guests were which special effects legend, Phil Tippett.
“I just binge watched it. I don’t think about this stuff at all. I just move to the next thing and forget,” Tippett said. “It was like this little kind of paleontological bubble that lived. Throughout history there are these bubbles, like the Pony Express, that turn into these mythological things that were just tiny slices of time but have become our mythology.”
Light & Magic premieres on Disney+ on July 27.