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While things are looking slightly dicey for Star Wars: Episode VIII right now (due to a labor strike that might affect production), it’s not stopping director Colin Trevorrow as he gets things in place for his own installment of the franchise, Episode IX, due around about 2019. The director has said that he plans to shoot his episode on actual film stock rather than doing it digitally. Now the man behind Jurassic World has given us something of an explanation as to why he's making that decision.
Speaking at a press conference at the Sundance Film Festival that dealt with the merits of film, Colin Trevorrow spoke of his love for the medium as well as his fear that the medium may go the way of vinyl records if more movies don’t make a point to keep it alive. His reasons for shooting Episode IX on film, however, go beyond the fact that he loves it. In this particular case, he feels film is thematically appropriate.
There’s something in my brain that says, ‘Well they didn’t have video cameras then. [Star Wars: Episode IX is] a period film. It happened a long time ago.
To be sure, Colin Trevorrow’s tongue was planted firmly in his cheek when Variety picked him up saying this. While the story of Star Wars does take a place "a long time ago," it’s not exactly a world lacking in technology. If anything, they have skipped past the video camera and gone to full-on hologram projection, something that has not become common place here except on CNN. At the same time, there are aspects of Star Wars that do also feel like they come from our distant past rather than our future. Space travel is commonplace but not every planet is a technological marvel. Digital cameras have a tendency to put a sheen on things that doesn’t always feel like it belongs.
The transition from film to digital that took place between the original and prequel trilogies was one of the things that rubbed some fans the wrong way. Because digital is so different, it made many aspects of the newer films look like they didn’t belong in the same universe with the original movies. Although, much of that was due to the extensive digital effects as much, if not more, than than the digital filming.
With the first two episodes in the current trilogy shooting on film, it will be interesting to see if Episode IX maintains that visual consistency. What do you think of this idea? Is it great to see film not going the way of a Jurassic World dinosaur, or should there be more consistency in the trilogies structure?