Watch how ILM created Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s opening space battle

A blend of practical and special effects

Star Wars: The Last Jedi scored a handful of Academy Award nominations this year, including one for best Visual Effects. As it did last year with Rogue One, Industrial Light and Magic has released a pair of behind-the-scenes clips that showcase how the film’s special effects came together.

The first clip shows off the film’s opening space battle, where Resistance starfighters go up against a First Order fleet. Director Rian Johnson used some practical hangar sets and an A-Wing fighter in the scene, around which animators composited their digital magic. They created the larger digital sets and spaceships in the scene, and layered in explosions and debris.

The second short clip shows off the creation of a First Order hangar that the Finn and Rose are led into towards the end of the film. It’s a bit less action-packed, but it does reveal the level of detail that goes into such a shot. A handful of actors acted in front of a green screen, in which animators created the massive hanger, layering in various elements such as equipment, vehicles, and troopers.

The end result is a neat look into just how much work goes into creating the fantastic backgrounds and worlds of the Star Wars franchise.