— Bad Robot (@bad_robot) July 8, 2014
Everyone with access to the Internet and a brain knows that J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII is going to be one of the biggest films of 2015, if not the entirety of cinema. There was no question that the sequel would be making its way into IMAX theaters, but we weren’t sure until today whether or not it would be produced in native IMAX format. And now we know that at least some of Episode VII will indeed be filmed using the most advanced camera equipment on this planet. (Rumor has it that Alderaan had even more astounding technology than IMAX cameras, but we all know how that turned out.)
The IMAX reveal comes from the official Bad Robot Twitter, and you can see the image above, with the hashtag “#bestformatever.” Unsurprisingly, we don’t get a shot of any actual humans or props, just lots and lots of desert. I can almost picture Abrams trying to make each and every grain of sand visible and distinct from the next. For this is probably no mere Earth desert, but is perhaps the surface of Tatooine. And unless this is all green-screened desert, this is probably not an extremely recent photo, as the film’s production has moved from Abu Dhabi to London’s Pinewood Studios. Regardless of when it happened, power to everyone involved for not letting this seemingly simple piece of news leak out before now.
This will be the second time Abrams has climbed behind an IMAX camera, as he previously used them for last year’s Star Trek Into Darkness. Episode VII will follow a similar post-production phase, as all of the footage will be post-converted into 3D before its release. You’d think they’d make it a little easier on themselves and film in native IMAX 3D from the start…but maybe that’s not easier and I have no idea what I’m talking about. Pretend I made a “giant lens flares” joke instead.
Written by Abrams and former Star Wars scribe Lawrence Kasdan, Star Wars: Episode VII will presumably involve a big battle between good and evil, but your guess is as good as ours as far as the details are concerned. All we really know are the cast members, including returning actors Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, and Peter Mayhew. They’ll be joined by franchise newcomers Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong’o, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Gwendoline Christie, Max von Sydow, Andy Serkis, Kenny Baker, Daisy Ridley, and Domhnall Gleeson. It will hit theaters of all kinds on December 18, 2015, unless it gets pushed back.
Personally, I’m more jazzed to see what IMAX vet Christopher Nolan is doing with the format for his upcoming epic science fiction adventure Interstellar. Maybe Matthew McConaughey and his crew will bump into a Sith or two while they’re out exploring the final frontier.