What you really should do is start an ILM thread on the old school ilm effects before the 90's starting to get rid of them.
A book i really highly recommend is the art of special effects , aka industrial light and magic. Not the cg into the digital realm garbage but the one on real optical and practical special effects.
Yeah there was cg in the first star wars film, return of the jedi and star trek II but it was not all cgi all the time and was very limited.
Episode 1 contrary to popular belief did have models and sets built if on a hell of a smaller scale than return of the jedi at least they did a blending of both techs and used real film. Also the production designs by doug chiang were faithful if different to ralph mcqaurries, and were real paintings not down on a computer. Therefore though mediocre in spririt the phantom menace was the last "real star wars film" Episode II were video games by comparison and complete abominations especially epeisode III which should have been a fans dream instead of nightmare of seeing their favorite franchise crapped on.
In star treks VI and VII and VIII they had Cgi enterprises as well as models. In the new film there were none and it looked like a damn playstation 3 game that they spent 200 million on.
Just like t2 both old school and new school, avatar completely cgi and looks like an animated feature,lol.
My favorites are tons of things. The Enterprise jumping to warp and in dry dock in star trek the motion picture by former ilmers and not ilm, in star trek the motion picture. The mutura nebula scene in wrath of khan and the genesis effect. The delorean scale model shots in the back to the future trilogy.
The opening scene of star wars with the star destroyer reveal, the x wings diving on the death star trench in star wars faked by the dystraflex motion control camera rig.
The lightsabers in the original trilogy, the sound effects which i also consider to be a special effect by ben burrt.
Burtt's sound design and worldizing were special as they were not what was traditional studio foley work and using pre recorded cataloged sounds, he went into the real world to record things. They did not overuse synthesizers like previous sci fi pictures did.
To me the most beautiful scenes of empire strikes back are the real helicopter shots of finse blended with small sets of walker models with fake snow and matte paintings to create the ice world of hoth.
To me empire has the best cinematography of the 3, the best acting and best screenplay. Everyone was on their top form in that film, when it came to return of the jedi for budget reasons and others things started to be phoned in a bit, even if the crew remained completely professional, Lucas heart seemed to no longer be in it and he wanted the thing over and done with. Also he always went with the it is good enough philosophy. He was angry at dykstra for spending the money on getting the realistic effects lucas wanted on star wars, he claimed you could throw models on a stick towards the camera. When starting up a non union effects house was incredibly expensive to do from the ground on up.
He was angry to Kurtz for allowing the acting to come along more natrualy in empire by allowing kershner more takes and set ups, and trying to get the perfect shot. I'm surprised he was not accused of being an David Lean or Stanley Kubrick, speningd tons on retakes was not lucas style. Watch graffiti, thx, or star wars 77 to prove my point valid.
Star Wars would not have been possible without those crazy kids in the 70's who worked at ilm for almost nothing, who got little or no credit going forward as the dude who was responsible for everything created star wars by himself, just ask him he will tell the same as he talks to the media.
He may have been the inspiration and started it all up with his own ideas and money, but he sometimes i think should recall the people a little more who really made the original trilogy shine and why the prequels sucked and were absolute dreck.
In my own little imagined perfect saga the prequels and special editions don't exist, there were backstories and sequels planned that were never filmed and exist only in the minds of fans. The Zahn trilogy was a nice bit of EU and the special editions and prequels only exist in an alternate universe continuity, like bizarro world in superman,lol.
Star Wars was budgeted at ten million and went over budget. I believe Lucas had to pay penalties, which amounted to almost nothing seeing as the film was a tremendous hit. I think it went like a half million dollars over budget or something. The studio originally imposed a budet ofd nine million i believe and originally wanted it for between 4-6 milliion, lol.
Compare star wars 10.5 million dollar budget to the phantom menace which was probably over a hundred million dollars there is no comparison and star wars is the better film, rofl.