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Production design in Episode 8

Discussion in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' started by Stofolupinoid, Dec 4, 2014.

  1. Stofolupinoid

    Stofolupinoid Rebel Trooper

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    So much of what is special about Star Wars comes from the production design. From the understated futurism of the Lars kitchen to the naturalistic low key light of the Mos Eisley Cantina, the elaborateness and insane anthropological depth of that designed universe is shown in a way that feels earthy and familiar and that’s a large part of why the far fetched scenarios feel believable.

    Rick Heinrichs was recently announced as the production designer for Episode 8. Heinrichs’ credits include the wonderful Fargo as well as a number of hyper-stylized Tim Burton films such as Sleepy Hollow. Fargo has a level of visual realism that suggests Heinrichs could perhaps create the kind of look that Star Wars would require but then again, unlike the Star Wars universe, Fargo North Dakota already existed with all its snow swept mystery and weathered utilitarian interiors for them to film in. With the Burton films, on the other hand, Burton’s own hyper-stylized vision seems to have demanded the kind of stagey over-designed look which would be the ultimate kiss of death for any Star Wars film. What it comes down to is that I very much hope that the newest member of the Star Wars family, Rick Heinrichs, will have the chops, the restraint, and the humility to apply the earthy realism of Fargo even to an elaborate world that’s designed from the ground up.

    With that in mind, Star Wars has always used pre-existing settings, both natural and human made, to great effect but I’d love to see that taken to a new level where it begins to include pre-existing structures that are more urban-futuristic, structures that already exist tucked away in cities like Prague, London, and even Chicago.
     
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  2. Echo-07

    Echo-07 Rebel Official

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    I think Heinrichs has been very reserved. Like you said his Burton work has been hyper-realizes, but I don't think it will be over the top specifically because this won't be a Burton film. I do suspect that the episode at large will be darker than E7 but will be mitigated by Rian Johson's vision. Even though I wasn't fanatical about Looper, I did enjoy it and thought it showed a pretty distinct vision, as well as understated production design, that is, for a sci-fi film.
     
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  3. Stofolupinoid

    Stofolupinoid Rebel Trooper

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    In Looper, though, (in contrast to a film like Star Wars or Children of Men) Rian Johnson seems to have made the directorial decision to avoid focusing on designing deeply anthropological future cloths, settings, etc (which he smartly explains in a single line of dialogue about retro 20th century fashions of the time). That decision would presumably have allowed him to focus more on story and character. A sound decision for Looper but it brings up a concern with Star Wars namely that Mr. Johnson’s somewhat limited interest in production design will mean that a great deal is riding on Rick Heinrichs for Star Wars.
     
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