Before and after video shows the subtle special effects in The Force Awakens

Update: The video's back, now hosted elsewhere.

Original Story

The Oscars are almost upon us, which means it's time for the "For Your Consideration" videos to start making their rounds. And while you probably shouldn't hold your breath expecting Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens to win Best Picture, there's a pretty solid case for it to sweep the Academy's array of technical awards - a case made by an interesting video originally uploaded on The Oscars' YouTube channel, depicting many of Episode VII's most iconic scenes before and after digital effects and post-processing. It's since been taken down (meaning we probably weren't meant to see it), but because nothing disappears once it hits the internet, it's since been re-uploaded to YouTube thanks to CBR Trailers.

If you haven't seen The Force Awakens, you should probably avoid the video for now. It's fairly spoiler-heavy, condensing the two-hour-long film's most explosive set-pieces and important moments into a ten minute supercut. If you have seen the film (or simply don't care about spoilers), the video is a fascinating watch, showing how the crew used a variety of real sets, practical effects, green screen, digital composites, and more to craft a believable space fantasy world.

Perhaps the most impressive thing of all is how much of The Force Awakens is made up of digital effects and CGI. There are certainly a wealth of practical effects on display - especially compared to the prequel trilogy - but there's a lot more computerized wizardry here than you'd think. At a time when bad digital effects are as easy to spot as Jabba the Hutt in a Mos Eisley docking bay, Episode VII starts to look all the more spectacular in comparison.

I still can't believe lightsabers aren't real, though. Talk about getting your mind blown.

David Roberts
David Roberts lives in Everett, WA with his wife and two kids. He once had to sell his full copy of EarthBound (complete with box and guide) to some dude in Austria for rent money. And no, he doesn't have an amiibo 'problem', thank you very much.