Phil Tippett is a fairly well known—and well regarded—stop motion artist and visual effects supervisor—whose big break happened when he was hired by George Lucas in 1975 to create the special effects for the stop-motion holographic chess game (“Dejarik”) seen in the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars (1977).

His work with Lucasfilm and ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) continued with his use of stop motion animation to bring the Tauntauns and AT-AT walkers to life in The Empire Strikes Back (1980) as well as creating the Rancor beast and animating parts of the speeder bike chase on Endor for Return of the Jedi (1983).

Knowing this, how did he feel about the primarily CGI-based visual changes, additions, modifications and tweaks George Lucas made to the original trilogy of Star Wars films in 1997?

Phil Tippett animating the AT-AT walkers in “The Empire Strikes Back.”

Phil Tippett animating a Tauntaun in “The Empire Strikes Back.

Phil Tippett animating a speeder bike in “The Empire Strikes Back.”

  • 8
    This is on topic but these "how did so-and-so feel" questions are getting repetitive. If you hadn't already had an answer I would have downvoted.
    – Null
    Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 2:44
  • 5
    @Null If you don't care for a question, just ignore it. Downvoting is more for if if its a poorly asked question etc. See this for more. (I know you didn't DV, this just for people's info)
    – RedCaio
    Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 2:47

1 Answer 1


According to a 2011 Q&A session Phil Tippett participated in at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX prior to a screening of Jurassic Park (1993), his feelings on the new Star Wars “Special Edition” additions are as follows:

They’re sh-t.

He went on to elaborate on his feelings towards the Mos Eisley spaceport scenes to express that he didn’t think what was added was at all necessary and how he loved Lucas’ original, “Sergio Leone”-like approach to shooting Mos Eisley as a minimal, barren place and how now it’s just:

Filled with a bunch of… CGI sh-t.

Elaborating further beyond the realm of CGI additions to Star Wars, he weighed in on Hollywood’s latest obsession with 3D as well by stating:

3D is sh-t.

And derided motion capture on top of it stating:

Robert Zemeckis is the Devil incarnate […] the motion capture stage is where good directors go to die.

  • 6
    A sentiment I share. Mos Eisley is supposed to look barren, goddammit!
    – Andres F.
    Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 2:48

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