Kathleen Kennedy says Star Wars: Episode VII will combine CGI and practical elements
Following the announcement that legendary composer John Williams will return to score Star Wars: Episode VII, comes word that the next instalment will focus on "story and characters" and be less reliant on CGI effects than the prequel trilogy.
Kathleen Kennedy discussed the approach at the Star Wars Celebration event in Essen, Germany and IGN quotes her saying "We have an amazing team at ILM, who can create fantastic effects, but if we don't have a great story and characters, the effects mean nothing."
On the subject of integrating more practical elements into the visual effects, the Lucasfilm President added "It's a conversation we're having all the time in the development of Episode VII.
Looking at all the Star Wars movies and getting a feel for what even some of the early films did, combining real locations and special effects - that's something we're looking very seriously at.
It's using model makers; it's using real droids; it's taking advantage of artwork that you actually can touch and feel.
And we want to do that in combination with CG effects. We figure that's what will make it real."
Speaking about the progress of Star Wars: Episode VII to Celebration host Warwick Davis, Kennedy said "It's going fantastically well - JJ and I meet almost every day, we've got Larry Kasdan, who worked on Empire and Jedi, as a writer.
We have Michael Arndt writing, who had previously been with Pixar doing Toy Story and won an Academy Award for Little Miss Sunshine. And we have Simon Kinberg. I think the team that we've assembled, everyone gets on so amazingly well - it's been fantastic."
Star Wars: Episode VII is set to start filming early next year on locations throughout the UK and is expected to arrive in cinemas in 2015.