Kevin Smith, director of such films as Clerks, Clerks 2, and Red State, is widely known as one of the biggest Star Wars fans around, which is why his visit to the set of J. J. Abrams’ Star Wars Episode VII last week made such an impact after he tweeted a picture with a single tear streaming down his cheek. But after being unable to speak concretely about what it was specifically that moved him to tears, it appears that he is now able to share much more of his experience with fans.
Speaking at the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival in Switzerland on Saturday, Smith spoke a little more about what the experience was like on the Star Wars Episode VII set, although his words were still lacking firm details — the result of having signed a non-disclosure agreement after his visit.
“So we go to the set and they’re actually shooting, and they’re shooting — and this is what I can’t tell you what they were shooting — but what I saw I absolutely loved,” Smith explained. “It was tactile, it wasn’t a series of fucking green and blue screens in which later on digital characters would be added. It was there it was happening.”
Smith’s reference to “green and blue screens” alludes to director George Lucas’ push in the prequel Star Wars trilogy towards completely CGI worlds, opposed to the practical sets and effects employed for the original trilogy. Lucas has been a huge champion for CGI in recent decades, seemingly showing that the director has always felt there was a vast divide between what he imagined and what was possible with practical effects. But while Lucas has been successful in creating entire worlds the way he imagined, the prequel films have also been criticized for lacking tangibility — not to mention having actors who seemed lost in its lack of physical settings.