Star Wars The Force Awakens: Your Move, Chewie

 

star wars the force awakens holochess

If you’ve seen Star Wars The Force Awakens, you’ll obviously have noticed a lot of nostalgic nods to the earlier films. One of the funniest and most pleasing is new accidental hero Finn (John Boyega) accidentally switching on the Millenium Falcon‘s Dejarik, or 3D chess board, much to Chewbacca’s amusement.

In Star Wars (A New Hope)  creature effects maestro Phil Tippett & co. created the holographic Harryhausen-like pieces via metal armatures covered with moulded materials, animated in stop-motion. Rather than go down the CG route for the modern film, director J.J. Abrams had original trilogy puppeters Phil Tippett, Dennis Muren and Jon Berg recreate the exact same methodology, crafting new puppets for the original, slightly modified armatures. For Star Wars, the chess set was almost an afterthought. “But for The Force Awakens,” Tippett told Yahoo.new.com, “J.J. [Abrams] and Kathy [Kennedy] wanted to re-create the actual chess set, which had pretty much fallen into disrepair. They were over at the Lucasfilm archives, so we went over there and engaged in a pretty protracted reconstruction process where we used a process called photogrammetry to capture the disintegrated puppets in their current state, and that allowed us to put them in the computer and to reconstruct them. Those went to the 3D printer and the molds were made and cast in the various rubber and plastics. That’s where a tremendous amount of time went, was in the reconstruction. “

Watch a video detailing the process below.

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