Watch ILM Completely Digitally Create the Planets of Rogue One

Illustration for article titled Watch ILM Completely Digitally Create the Planets of Rogue One

The best visual effects are the ones we don’t even see. In Rogue One, we know Tarkin isn’t physically there and that the Death Star doesn’t really exist. So it’s the landscapes that are the true magic: entire worlds created in a computer to build out and expand a little sliver of actual filming, or nothing at all.


That’s the focus of this new Rogue One visual effects video, which shows the not-so-fast process of Industrial Light and Magic creating Jedha and Scarif in a very fast and snappy way. Watch out for the brief glimpses of the actual sets, which are tiny compared what we finally saw on screen.

If you’re wondering why this is out now, months after the release of the film, look in the bottom left corner. It’s because of the Oscars. Final votes for the awards are due February 21 before the show on the 26th, and Rogue One is rightfully up for Best Visual Effects. It’s up against Deepwater Horizon, Doctor Strange, The Jungle Book, and Kubo and the Two Strings, which is very strong competition. I feel like Jungle Book will be tough to beat, but we’ll find out next weekend. There’s no doubt Rogue One is right up there.


Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo. Formerly of Premiere, EW, Us Weekly, and Slashfilm. AP Award-Winning Film Critic and CCA member. Loves Star Wars, posters, Legos, and often all three at once.


John Cooley

Stuff like this makes me think that the CGI of, say, Attack of the Clones wasn’t so much “wrong” as it was just “early”. Not all pioneers get the benefit of being fondly remembered.

But it’s exciting to know that we’re at a point where films like Star Wars can genuinely take us anywhere, that the only limit can be the imagination of the filmmakers.