One of the major criticisms lobbed against George Lucas' Star Wars prequels is that the over-reliance of CGI effects made the world feel less real than that introduced in the originals. Fans already knew that director J.J. Abrams had a life-sized Millennium Falcon and X-Wings built for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but Mark Hamill reveals the dedication goes even further.
Speaking with Yahoo! Movies about his "contractually obligated beard" and the importance of the next generation of actors in the project, Hamill also revealed that the ball-shaped droid seen in the trailer -- BB-8 -- was actually created with practical effects.
"They never cease to amaze me with what they’re able to come up with, you know? I said, 'How are you ever gonna top R2-D2, the most adorable droid in movie history?' And then they have this new one," the franchise veteran said. "I can’t even tell you his name, but you saw it in the trailer. And when they were demonstrating how they did this thing, live on set — because it’s not CGI, that’s a live prop — I was just amazed. They let me play around with it. I was running it all around at the creature shop up in Pinewood. I’m telling you, it’s an absolute delight. And not having thought that I’d ever go back there, to go back into that world, is just – I get the chills. It’s just so much fun."
Opening Dec. 18, 2015, Star Wars: The Force Awakens also stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Warwick Davis, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Lupita Nyong’o and Gwendoline Christie.