Why You Need To See “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” At An IMAX Theater; First Description Of IMAX Scene

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The release of a new “Star Wars” film has always been more than just a movie release, it has been more of an “event” where you will see long lines of fans camping out in front of theaters for days. Without a doubt, “Star Wars” has always been one of those movies that you have to experience on the big screen. The next chapter in the “Star Wars” saga will be no different. On second thought, this time there will be a “big” difference.

On December 18th, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will be released in theaters and the best possible way to experience it is at an IMAX theater. Last year Disney announced that certain segments of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” would be filmed using IMAX camera’s. They also released the following images showing exactly what we could expect from seeing the movie in an IMAX theater as apposed to your standard movie theater, which will display all scenes in the widescreen format.

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The clear advantage that the IMAX version has is that even though it may lose a small portion of the image horizontally, it more than makes up for it by what the image gains vertically. Keep in mind that not all of the movie was filmed using IMAX cameras, so there will be times you will experience shifting aspect ratios. Plus Disney has still not revealed exactly how may minutes will take advantage of IMAX footage.

This week MakingStarWars.com received their first description of one of the scenes that was filmed using IMAX cameras. Be warned, some “minor” SPOILERS ahead:

Later on in the film after Rey and Finn take their flight in the Falcon is where we get the IMAX sequences. The Falcon is chased by TIE Fighters and we apparently move by some familiar landmarks in the film’s one-sun desert setting. This is the big chase and action sequence which dominates the film’s first act. TIEs are in hot pursuit of the Falcon as it rockets away from the salvage station. Rey and BB-8 pilot the ship. Finn gets on the Falcon’s turret. There’s a lot of banter between the two and to an extent they don’t seem to really know what they’re doing. But most of all, Finn is rather inept. As TIEs shoot at the Falcon, Rey has to ask Finn if he plans on “answering back.” Its a situation he can’t talk himself out of and he has figure out how to use the turret and actually hit one. To save their skins, Rey pilots them into the insides of the giant crashed Star Destroyer she was scavenging from during her introduction sequence. The Falcon and the TIEs “slalom” around debris and the insides of the downed ship, eventually losing their persuers.

Presumably they give us a moment to catch our breath, the IMAX sequence ends and then the Falcon end up being swallowed by another huge ship in space. Monomyth fans are going to have a fun time with those “belly of the whale” analogies. It appears the IMAX sequence is going to seriously rock as its the flight of the Falcon being chased by TIE Fighters into Star Destroyer wreckage.

I think that scene says it all. IMAX, here I come!

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About the author

Joe Hogarty

Joe moved from New York to Florida back in 1997. He currently resides in St. Petersburg and visits the parks frequently. His first visit to the Magic Kingdom was when he was 8 years old back in 1974. Joe originally originally started as a photographer for WDWNT and is now the host of WDWNT: Nerd Alert, our movie reviewer and reports the news for WDWNT. You can contact Joe through email at [email protected]

3 Comments

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  • Yet another great article, Joe. And while splitting time between IMAX and normal format works when done properly (like Nolan did with The Dark Knight), I wish they’d just commit to one or the other.

    Yes, IMAX is certainly cost prohibitive, but c’mon…

    Again, this is not a complaint. But find your format and stick to it. Joe, you and I are from the same generation, do you remember some of the old “creature feature” movies where certain scenes moved into the archaic version of 3D? So you had to put on your cardboard glasses to watch them? Naturally, this isn’t as bad as bad as that. But a format switch while the movie is in progress just strikes me as a cheap move.

    Am I way off base here?

    • Totally agree with what you said Scott. I wish they would just make a feature length movie using only IMAX cameras. Like you said, it is expensive, and the studios do not want to commit to something like that if it is not cost effective. Another thing I have heard is that while filming with IMAX, all of the dialogue has to be recorded later on because the IMAX cameras are so loud. I think that could be a problem. But also if they made a movie like The Force Awakens with all IMAX cameras, there wouldn’t be enough IMAX’s to show them. Yeah, you could watch it in a regular theater but you will lose some real estate. I think it is just a way to get people into IMAX theaters. Theaters are improving though with options like RPX and Dolby Atmos.

      I did enjoy the IMAX scenes from The Dark Knight much better than the widescreen parts. I’m not crazy about shifting aspect ratios either. Those scenes do look better and maybe after time you wont be distracted by them, but you will always notice them. I really wish they would just film everything in 16:9 or 1.85:1 so I dont have to see black bars on my TV. They have Cinemascope TV’s now but I dont think they sold to well. Yes, it eliminates the black bars on the top, but when you watch a 16:9 movie, it adds black bars on the sides. Who ever thought that was a good idea?

      I’m old Scott, but I’m not that old. LOL Never saw a creature feature movie in 3D back in the day. I think my first 3D movie was Jaws 3D and that stunk.

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