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  Star Wars Episode II, CGI-graphics and more 
  Mar 11, 2002, 12:00pm EST 
 
By: Sander Sassen

I’m sure you’ve noticed that the new trailer for Star Wars Episode II has been released today and naturally that’s something that always holds somewhat of a promise. George Lucas demo-ed some groundbreaking CGI footage with Episode I and so we’ve come to expect nothing less from Episode II. Personally I’m still very impressed with what Square Pictures managed to pull off with Final Fantasy, the Spirits Within. In case you’ve missed that movie, it is one of the first fully animated CGI movies, with actors and scenery that only existed in the computer’s memory.

Episode II, Attack of the Clones


Fig. 1. Episode II, Attack of the Clones title screen, taken from the trailer.

Naturally George Lucas’ team wouldn’t stretch it that far, although Jar-Jar Banks from Episode I was also largely computer generated, most of the actors in Episode II will be flesh-and-blood. Naturally we’ll see a fair amount of CGI drones and other ‘live’ machinery but also the return of Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and naturally the usual de-facto space combat scenes.

Battle drones


Fig 2. The battle drones that first debuted in Episode I are starting to become omnipresent in Episode II.

We’ll also see some new vehicles and battle-droids debut in Episode II, of which some are, again, walking on two or four legs. Not sure who’s been working on those and from what angle, but anybody that wants to build and use a vehicle in battle knows that it has to be able to withstand the perils of war and still be able to function, simply knocking off one of the legs of these will render it useless in battle, not a very efficient design. But I might be looking at it from the wrong perspective; it’s a movie, not a documentary.

Four-legged attack vehicles


Fig 3. New four-legged battle vehicles taking a stride against the alliance.

The space- and air-to-air combat scenes look to be very promising, offering fast and action-packed footage that’ll have you glued to your chair and make you wanting more, I still vividly remember the pod-race in Episode one which was really a first for action-packed-CGI-generated movies, this looks to offer similar or even better footage.

Air-to-air combat scene


Fig 4. Air-to-air combat scene where a number of missiles is launched at an enemy structure.

If the trailer is not just a summary of all of the best parts of the movie it’ll definitely be another one to watch, even if just to witness the next step in CGI-generated-movies. I think that neither Episode I nor II will be able to touch the authenticity and look-and-feel of the original trilogy. But it will sure be another very appealing movie and storyline to another generation of teens. Just as the 20-ers and 30-ers of today they’ll be impressed and in awe with the struggle between good and evil in a far away galaxy where light sabers and The Force rule.

Sander Sassen

 

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