Can the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII possibly live up to expectations? It already has for director Kevin Smith. Last week, the filmmaker took to Instagram, posting a teary-eyed selfie after visiting the set for J.J. Abrams’ upcoming sequel. Unfortunately, Smith was unable to say much else about his visit, thanks to a hefty non-disclosure agreement signed before seeing the set, but the visit was clearly a transformative one.
Now, thanks to Slashfilm, a video of Smith’s Q&A at the Neuchatel International Film Festival in Switzerland has surfaced, in which the filmmaker talks at length about his recent visit to the London-based set. With the signed NDA still looming over his head, Smith couldn’t get into specifics about what he saw, but he does talk about his time aboard the new Millennium Falcon and how witnessing the nostalgic sights and sounds of the new production made even the admittedly jaded filmmaker cry geeky tears of joy. Here are the snippets of Smith’s interview that have us the most excited.
Here, Smith talks about the lack of green screen in the production and the reliance on live sets and practical effects:
“What I saw, I absolutely loved. It was tactile. it was real. It wasn’t a series of f**king green screens and blue screens in which later on digital characters would be added. It was there, it was happening.”
“As I walked up that ramp [of the Millennium Falcon set] I realized that the something that was missing from [the prequels] and its now in these movies. And its not the obvious like hey the Millennium Falcon or hey the characters that we know are returning. Its something else entirely — he’s building a tactile world, a world you can touch. And hes replicating with all the love of someone who has the world’s greatest collection of Star Wars figures.”
Smith talks about how the new film has many returning elements from the original trilogy:
“I saw old friends who I haven’t seen since my childhood… I saw uniforms, I saw artillery I haven’t seen since I was a kid. I saw them shooting an actual sequence in a set that was real. I walked across the set, there were explosions. And it looked like a shot right out of a f**king Star Wars movie.”
“If he captures just 10 percent of what I felt, they’re going to make a gazillion dollars. It’s going to be the top grossing film of all time. Because it’s old home; it’s seeing everybody you want to see again in a brand new adventure moving forward. I can’t wait.”
Finally, Smith details how seeing scenes and sequences from the film turned Smith into a teary-eyed believer:
“[Abrams] showed me cut scenes, he showed me sequences, images, pictures. I cried. I cried and I hugged that guy. And I’m sure as I was crying and hugging on him that he was thinking ‘time is money’ because they’re making a movie. But he got it. He was very flattered. And I was like ‘Honestly dude, you’re doing it. You’re making my childhood again. You’re doing our Star Wars.’ What I saw, blew me away.”
The full video is below. Smith’s comments about his Episode VII set visit start around the 35 minute mark.