Wednesday, April 9, 2014

X-Wing CGI Test Footage From 1978

By: Dominic Jones

Just when you think you know everything about Star Wars, something comes along and blows your mind!  Our friends over at have posted a rare CGI test of a group of X-Wing fighters from 1978!  Yes, you read that right, 1978.  Apparently Lucasfilm and Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) had been considering using CGI effects as far back as The Empire Strikes Back.  The test footage was completed by John Whitney Jr and Gary Demos, both of whom would later work on The Last Starfighter.  Ultimately, the process was too expensive in 1978 and scrapped in favor of the continued use of practical effects.  Check out the footage below!

I must say the footage looks surprisingly good,  though I'm sure the low resolution helps in that category.  It's fascinating to think that even as far back as Empire Lucasfilm and ILM were considering using the technology to create the vast worlds of the prequels (though the idea that the prequels were "all CGI" is a complete myth).  It is a real glimpse into the 'what if' portion of Star Wars history and makes you wonder what kind of effect this would have had on the remaining Star Wars films and the film industry in general. 

You can follow Dominic on Twitter: @DominicJ25


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