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TV Discussion Lightsabers in Live-Action TV

Discussion in 'Star Wars TV- Current and Future Shows' started by Def Trooper, Jun 27, 2022.

  1. Def Trooper

    Def Trooper Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 6, 2019
    Something that I have very mixed feelings about ever since Rise of Skywalker is Lucasfilm's use of their new practical lightsaber props and the way they now handle post-processing FX on them.

    On one hand, I've loved since TFA that sabers now emit physical light onto their environments and that to me has been an objective improvement since the Lucas films concluded. But now with so much saber action in the TV shows, it's like they're starting to use the props as almost a full replacement for CG enhancement, so you end up with many shots where the sabers look like dull glow sticks that lack the white hot core that became standard I guess some time during the prequels or special editions (?). They look fine enough, but at times it gives off a "fan film" vibe because it looks like a raw video of cosplayers swinging ForceFX sabers at each other or something.

    On top of that, there's a total removal of the bright flashes when sabers impact one another, and it removes some of the danger and energy of the sabers themselves IMO.

    This isn't always the case, as there are many shots where the VFX seems to be film quality, but it happens enough to really take me out of these shows, especially when sabers get used as much as they do in something like Kenobi. I hope this isn't LF shifting towards using the new saber prop as a crutch to rush through productions.
     
  2. Pro Scoundrel

    Pro Scoundrel Socially And Emotionally Distant Mod Of New Films star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Well, it would certainly be a time and money saver, so that's very possible. I've noticed the difference you've mentioned, but it hasn't really bothered me. Overall, I've been happy enough with the saber effects.
     
  3. TCF-1138

    TCF-1138 Anthology/Fan Films/NSA Mod & Ewok Enthusiast star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2002
    Right, this is actually a complaint I've had since TFA - the lack of pure white in the lightsaber blades. I think it might have started by them looking at TESB and ROTJ, and seeing that the lightsaber cores weren't actually white, and emulated that. However, those weren't pure white due to the really shoddy color correcting done for the DVD release in the early 00s.
    Another reason might be that a few years ago, the quest for dynamic range got out of control. All of a sudden it was a mortal sin in filmmaking to include pure white or pure black in the frame, and I think that actually might have had something to do with it as well. As I said, I've noticed this ever since TFA, and they definitely added ligthsaber effects to those blades (using 3D imagery, instead of the 2D frame-by-frame rotoscoping of the OT and PT).

    Thankfully that dumb trend has started to wear off, and we do get pure white in the blades in this show.
    But the white in the blades still fades as they swing them, making it look like prop blades. But I don't think that's what we're seeing though. I might be wrong, but I think they've kept the same effect, and dulled the cores for swings because that's actually the more realistic motion blur for a white hot stick being swung in front of a camera with a 180 degree shutter angle. So I think it's an artistic decision. Not an artistic decision I agree with at all though.

    There's not a total removal of those flashes, but they've diminished in intensity, and the look has changed. They're now regular anamorphic lens flares, possibly at least partially produced by the prop blades as well.

    They have added sparks though, which looks cool.
     
  4. Krueger

    Krueger Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 9, 2004
    I've loved the lightsaber sound effects. The ST being the best in that department, IMO. I also thought Ahsoka's looked and sounded incredible. So yeah, the lightsaber effects are one of the standout stars of the new "Disney" era.
     
  5. TCF-1138

    TCF-1138 Anthology/Fan Films/NSA Mod & Ewok Enthusiast star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2002
    Yeah, I should add that my complaints about the effects are purely based on the lack of white cores when they're being swung, so it's the very definition of a nitpick. The practical lighting, the vivid colors, and the sounds have all been extraordinary.
     
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  6. A Chorus of Disapproval

    A Chorus of Disapproval Admin & TV Screaming Service star 9 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Lack of white cores has been my singular gripe since 2015 as well. The blades in OWK were the best they've accomplished and the fight in Part VI is possibly my favorite duel of the franchise due to how much weight every move seemed to have.
     
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  7. Bor Mullet

    Bor Mullet Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Apr 6, 2018
    The lightsabers never looked and sounded better than they did in OWK. Especially the finale. So much power and weight in them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2022
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  8. A Chorus of Disapproval

    A Chorus of Disapproval Admin & TV Screaming Service star 9 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Agreed. The episode accomplished 2 simultaneous feats. It was my favorite duel in SW and... this is the true miracle... while my new favorite duel was occurring, for the first time ever I actually cared equally about the action happening elsewhere that they kept cutting away to.
     
  9. Pro Scoundrel

    Pro Scoundrel Socially And Emotionally Distant Mod Of New Films star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 20, 2012
    They're no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.
     
  10. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Oct 4, 1998
  11. Glitterstimm

    Glitterstimm Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 30, 2017
    I've been mostly satisfied with lightsaber effects in the shows, and some has been very good. The Ahsoka episode in Mando S2 was excellent, from effects, to choreography, just great stuff. The effects in Obi-wan were mostly good, but I wasn't a fan of the camera work, the framing, which lessened the impact imo.
     
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