Star Wars Episode VII actor Oscar Isaacs describes sets filled with ships, Stormtroopers, and physical setpieces.
One criticism made against the Star Wars prequels (outside of midichlorians) was that the trilogy relied too heavily on CG effects. That's a big reason fans were excited to hear that Episode VII would mark a return to constructed sets and physical effects. But how dedicated is J.J. Abrams to this old-school vision? Dedicated enough that action scenes will be filmed with large numbers of live-action Stormtroopers.
That information came out during an interview with Robin Hood and A Most Violent Year's Oscar Isaac, who was cast in Star Wars: Episode VII. "[Abrams is] shooting on film and actually building the sets, so you've got hundreds of Stormtroopers or whatever, and hundreds of extras and all the ships," he said. "You actually see it. It's all real. Everyone can interact with the world."
Working in that kind of environment must feel like a Star Wars fan's dream, and Isaac notes that there's an impressive level energy and optimism on set. "Everyone's having a really good time," he explained. "J.J. sets that tone. There's a lot of enthusiasm, and it's being done with a lot of heart. There's nothing cynical about the way we're doing this."
It won't be until Dec. 18, 2015 that we find out whether these physical effects and live-action Stormtroopers will pay off. Still, I suspect anyone who misses the visual style of the classic trilogy has a lot to look forward to.