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10 Special Effects Movie Milestones That Came After Star Wars

Star Wars inspired big changes in the 'ol special effects department. More than 30 years later, Gravity made us feel like we'd actually been transported to space.

With Alfonso CuarĂ³n's Gravity receiving a limited theatrical re-release in the US this weekend, a few Golden Globe wins and a boatload of Academy Awards nominations, it's clear that the technical achievement of the year is... well, Gravity. Where science fiction films are concerned, of course, most of the special effects credit goes all the way back to the original Star Wars film from 1977. The credit isn't undue, as creations like the now-infamous Dykstraflex rig - which allowed for a wide range of camera movement dictated by computerised pre-programming - made Star Wars into the legendary film that it still is today. But since then, film effects have come a long way. Hundreds of films deserve to be on this list, as even the tiniest handcrafted element can made a world of difference in the final shot. What follows are a handful of major milestones that were influenced by the technological advances that came before, but also pioneered new technologies that would influence future films...
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Matt is a writer and musician living in Boston. Read his film reviews at http://motionstatereview.wordpress.com.