Watching that scene today (as I just did), it looks a bit like a dated video game. Certainly not realistic by our current standards. (It still looks better than a few scenes in “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania.”) That said, at the time, it was shockingly complex and fascinating to watch. If you recall, the film’s heroes are trying to get out of the droid factory all while being stuck on conveyor belts and dodging heavy machinery. According to Insider, the entire sequence was a “late addition” to the film because George Lucas and his editor Ben Burtt wanted another action scene on Geonosis. This resulted in the last-minute creation of a scene involving moving parts, sparks, glowing metal, droids, and close calls in a place that doesn’t really exist. Animation supervisor Hal Hickel explained the film’s creatives were given animatics, which was great, but there were still puzzles to solve:

“They gave us a terrific sense of movement and the whole flavor of the thing. However, they didn’t attempt to solve any of the hundreds of really difficult questions regarding scale of the machines, speed and width of the conveyor, and so on. All that stuff had to be worked out by us.”

It was quite the process, going from layouts to shot set-ups by artists who had to determine what needed to be added later in post-production (the animatics left that part out) while figuring out things like how fast the belts were moving, then put it all together with the raw footage of the actors performing against a blue screen. There just wasn’t enough time to do the layout phase of planning, but what they were able to do really helped bring the scene to life.

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