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Rey rides a home made speeder in The Force Awakens, much like Luke Skywalker drove an old land speeder in the original film. We pretty clearly know that The Force Awakens was made with digital methods, so that pixels showing the hovering speeder and its shadow are just overritten on top of the video representing the rest of the scene. Both the speeder and its shadow might be completely generated from algorithms that determine size, shape, color, materials, etc.

But such techniques were not available when Luke's land speeder was filmed in the 1970s. How were Luke's land speeder and shadow, etc filmed? Was Rey's speeder fully digital? Or was Rey's a combination of a physical prop with digital effects?

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Luke's speeder was done with mirrors!

I found these uncredited photos that clearly show that there was a mirror angled towards the ground that hid the wheels of the car for the distant shots when it was moving.

Side view

Front view

For close up shots, they had a version of the landspeeder suspended on a swingarm that was out of camera:

Suspended on arm

So no CGI, perhaps some post-production, but it really was done with (sand and) mirrors! :)

Rey's appears to be both CGI and live action

I found a couple of pictures of the prop of her speeder that indicate that there were some live shots taken with a prop for close ups, but it seems highly likely that most of the shots were done with CGI.

Rey's live action prop

The bottom sign on Rey's prop caught my attention, and I was able to get a zoom in of it:

Kira's Bumper Car

I can only guess that "Kira" was a stunt double, given the picture doesn't appear to have the actress portraying Rey on the speeder.

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    Great photos! They also added some lightly dark blur manually (no digital!) in post-production to further mask the contour of the mirror and to give the impression that they is some kind of force field between the carriage and the ground. – SylvainL Jan 10 '16 at 7:50
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    Kira was the original name they gave to Rey IIRC. – Alfredo Hernández Jan 10 '16 at 8:45
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    Rey on her speeder prop – Valorum Jan 10 '16 at 8:53
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    I was trying to find the apocryphal story of locals mistaking the land speeder mirrors trick for magic. – AncientSwordRage Jan 10 '16 at 10:10
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    I saw something at one point where they mention smearing Vaseline on the lens to mask the wheels for one shot. I think they mention cleaning it up in the Special Edition making-of. – Clockwork-Muse Jan 10 '16 at 11:31

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