Kevin Smith Explains What He Saw On The Star Wars: Episode VII Set

Last week, writer/director Kevin Smith let the world know via his personal Instagram account that he had the chance to visit the set of Star Wars: Episode VII. He claimed that the experience moved him to tears, and apparently solidified a personal positive outlook on what J.J. Abrams and his team are doing at Pinewood Studios in England. The filmmaker couldn't go into any real details at the time due to signed non-disclosure agreements, but apparently those signed papers were only active for one week because now Smith is talking all about.

As discovered by SlashFilm, the Clerks. director was recently in Switzerland for the Neuchatel International Film Festival, and while on stage during a Q&A session he blabbed all about his experience on the set of Star Wars: Episode VII. Taking the audience through his own personal, emotional trip throughout the day, Smith began by discussing some of the amazing things we saw when first stepping out on the set, explaining that it was like having pals from when he was a kid come back into his life. Said Smith,

"I saw old friends who I haven’t seen since my childhood, who aren’t really friends, but I love them more than some of my fucking relatives. 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 Star Wars movie."

As impactful as this was, however, it wasn't what made him tear up like six year old with a skinned knee. Instead, that emotional response was saved for boarding one of the great cinematic spaceships of all time: the Millennium Falcon. As we've previously reported, J.J. Abrams and his crew have build a full-size interior of Han Solo's ship, and Smith explained that the production of Star Wars: Episode VII is mixing blueprints of the smuggling ship from both A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back (apparently the cockpit was expanded in the sequel). Smith added that walking up the loading ramp he could feel his age peeling away from him until finally he was just a little seven year old standing inside of the Millennium Falcon.

Beyond just vaguely describing his experience, Smith also explained what it was about the trip to the Star Wars: Episode VII set that gave him such faith in J.J. Abrams' vision: namely the decision to try and do everything as practically as possible. Unlike George Lucas' prequels, which were made out of 90% blue screen and green screen, Smith says that the next chapter of the saga is tactile and real, and he expects that to fully translate on the big screen. He said,

When you walk on that set man, I don’t know how else to describe it except thusly: you use another pop culture reference to describe this pop culture phenomenon. Its like the field of dreams, the Kevin Costner movie. And if JJ builds it, we’re all going to come hard, because its amazing. It looks fantastic. So anyone out there wondering if hes going to pull it off, hes pulling it off. He showed me cut scenes, he showed me sequences, images, pictures. I cried and I hugged that guy.

You can head over to SlashFilm to watch the video of Smith in action.

As we reported earlier today, Star Wars: Episode VII is now filming and will be taking a two week hiatus in August to allow Harrison Ford to recover from his leg injury. The movie is still on schedule to be released December 18, 2015.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.