Last week, the trailer for the upcoming Light & Magic docuseries was officially released, and it’s amazing.
The series is directed by Lawrence Kasdan, who is no stranger to the world of Star Wars and George Lucas, having written The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and Raiders of the Lost Ark (and later Solo: A Star Wars Story). Kasdan also has a history of directing, and it’s the director’s chair that he’s taken up for this behind-the-scenes look at the groundbreaking visual effects studio.
Industrial Light & Magic was founded by George Lucas in 1975 with an ambitious goal: do something that had never be done before in cinema history and pioneer groundbreaking special effects for his upcoming project, Star Wars. They did it, and the company very quickly became the best of the best, working on a stunning number of critically-acclaimed projects. To this day they remain the gold standard for visual effects in movies, and between 1994 and 2019 they received at least one Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects in all but one year. In the company’s history they have won the award 14 times and has been nominated another 46 times.
This docuseries is the story of how George Lucas and his team created the studio and, in the process, changed filmmaking forever. The show features extensive interviews, including with Lucas himself, in telling the story. And if the trailer is any indication, this is going to be great.
Star Wars has always been on the leading edge of filmmaking in visual effects, but also in giving viewers a behind the scenes look at how it came to be. That’s led to tons of great documentaries on the making of Star Wars, but this time it’s with a particular focus, one not really seen before to this extent. This time, it’s about ILM, and anybody who is interested in the filmmaking process, movie history, or George Lucas’s movies in general should absolutely check this out.
Light & Magic will premiere on Wednesday, July 27, on Disney+, with all six episodes of the limited series dropping on the same day. Directed by Lawrence Kasdan, the show is executive produced by Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Justin Wilkes, Lawrence Kasdan, Kathleen Kennedy, and Michelle Rejwan.