comScore This Force Awakens Special Effects Reel Has BB-8 and More | The Mary Sue

This Force Awakens Special Effects Reel Features the Falcon, TIE Fighters… and BB-8

Maybe Neil deGrasse Tyson had a point? Or maybe not. Anyway, more BB-8.


It’s awards season. That means we’ll be getting a bunch of behind the scenes reels featuring peeks behind the curtain of how some of our favorite magical movie moments get made. Featured here is a behind the scenes look at the effects that make up Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Right up front, because I know you’re wondering: yes, BB-8 is featured in this reel in a few places. Yes, they were digitally added to a few of the chase shots on Jakku. Yes, this means Neil deGrasse Tyson may have had a point, but do keep in mind that there was a real BB-8 rolling around in the sand. Just maybe not as fast as one might think they were rolling around.

While it’s true that The Force Awakens placed a strong emphasis on real, practical effects, there were (of course) plenty of digital effects that really helped contribute to a whole, complete, strong presentation. The side-by-side comparison is incredibly intriguing to watch. There’s plenty of green screen effects shown off here, but the real live environment composites are especially fascinating.

Moreover, being able to see which parts of a scene were digital versus which parts of a scene were fully built out sets really sheds some light on the staggering scope with which these movies are created. A great example of this is the TIE Fighter that Finn and Jake Poe crash land on Jakku–the whole damn thing is a real, practical set. There were only a few digital elements added on afterwards.

Definitely take a look at this reel, if only just to gawk and admire The Force Awakens a little longer. I mean, who wouldn’t want to do that?

(via io9)

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Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (, and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters ( She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.