The only reason for me to watch this rather banal
(for us who see Starwars
as history) movie was to see one of the older demonstrations of computer effects, which were very impressive for 1984
. The effects were indeed computer-rendered (the Cray X-MP
is mentioned in the credits' end as the "Super computer
"). Effects included:
- Nearly-perfect rendering of the star-car (or whatever was its name). It was used during the car's flights in space and had to perfectly copy the physical car model. The rendered car had a reflective glass and animated wheels which were raised on take off (making the car looks like a slick space shuttle). It still looked too shiny and flat though.
- Star-fighter ships with translucent glass (IIRC).
- The ships in the Star Fighter's HQ were indeed real models, but only one of them was real while the rest 11 of them were computer-cloned.
Preview renderings were done on a VAX 11/782, while the final rendering was done on Cray X-MP. It's said that the Cray took 2.5 minutes per frame, while the VAX took 16 hours.