Star Wars: One of the most popular and influential series of films in cinema history. Also, iron-fisted overlord of cash-generating merchandise.
J.J. Abrams: One of modern day Hollywood’s most successful creative forces. Also, devout disciple of the gleaming lens flare.
The latest Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer debuted during last night’s Monday Night Football halftime show, and outside of the Super Bowl, it stood in contention for the most eagerly anticipated TV commercial of all time.
In the least surprising news since George Lucas decided not to shave off his goatee beard, director J.J. Abrams managed to squeeze in a few trademark lens flares.
To be fair, they were kept to a minimum, at least by Abrams' lofty standards. Recent offerings by his Bad Robot production studio have been a veritable lens flare-o-rama—even the man’s own wife complained about it after watching Star Trek: Into Darkness, claiming overuse quite literally left her unable to follow the movie.
This breakdown of Abrams’ first Star Trek offering claims to have identified 721 separate lens flares. 721...!
When it comes to the scattering of light in lens systems, J.J. does not mess around. Although he did at least offer an apology:
"This is how stupid it was. I actually had to use Industrial Light & Magic to remove lens flare in a couple of shots, which is, I know, moronic,” Abrams said. Yikes!
He added, “But I think admitting you're an addict is the first step towards recovery. But I know it's too much, and I apologize. I'm so aware of it now.”
Luckily, this latest The Force Awakens trailer is rather awesome. Dare I say, extremely awesome. It met with widespread approval among the legions of Star Wars fans, prompting a frenzied pursuit for movie tickets. Judging by my Twitter feed, Fandango.com was ambushed with the velocity of Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon hitting lightspeed…
As for those lens flares? There are (at least) three to speak of. Two of ‘em are rather subtle:
The other is…well, it’s clear old habits die hard. J.J. Abrams was powerless to resist the allure of a glinting red flare of light piercing through Kylo Ren’s panoramic windows.
Behold the material inhomogeneities!