The Morning Watch: The Evolution of 'Star Wars' Lightsaber VFX, The Cost of Genius in 'The Queen's Gambit' & More

(The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fan-made productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.)

In this edition, see how the Star Wars lightsaber VFX have evolved from the original movies debut in 1977 to the recent trilogy and TV series effects. Plus, take a look at the cost of genius in an in-depth featurette for Netflix’s Emmy-nominated limited series The Queen’s Gambit. And finally, watch the young stars of today reenact movies like The Matrix, The Royal Tenenbaums, American Psycho, and more.

First up, Corridor Crew has been working on an amusing little short called “Lightsabers for Men,” utilizing their special skills in visual effects. In order to properly explore their efforts, they take a dive into the evolution of the lightsaber on the big screen, from the original Star Wars in 1977 to the most recent efforts in the new trilogy and the live-action series The Mandalorian.

Next, after racking up 18 Emmy nominations, Netflix has provided a deep dive into the limited series adaptation of The Queen’s Gambit. For writer/director Scott Frank, the story isn’t just about chess. It’s about the cost of genius. For Anya Taylor-Joy, it’s about how you adapt to the world when you have a very specific gift that other people have difficult understanding. Hear what they have to say in the nearly 30-minute featurette above.

Finally, Vanity Fair brought in the current generation of young stars to recreate scenes from some of the memorable movies that arrived before the turn of the century. Watch Addison Rae tackle Mulholland Drive, Keke Palmer go Legally Blonde, Charles Melton enter The Matrix, Dylan Sprouse and Barbara Palvin join The Royal Tenenbaums, Patrick Schwarzenegger get American Psycho, and more.

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