Rey’s Instant Bread Was Totally Real
More than any other fictional world we’ve fallen in love with as fans, Star Wars has always been the most remarkable when it feels worn out and completely lived-in. We might long to take a trip to the stately halls of Hogwarts in Harry Potter or the gorgeous city of Rivendell in The Hobbit—but when it comes to Star Wars, the grimier and weirder it is, the better. Why else would we love that grubby cantina from A New Hope so much?
That’s probably why one of the smallest, littlest details at the beginning of Star Wars: The Force Awakens still has fans totally reeling in shock and delight even a month after the movie—that’s the instantly-rising greenish loaf of bread that Rey (Daisy Ridley) earns and eats while living on Jakku. Seriously, everybody on Twitter wants to know what it’s made out of, and more importantly, what it tastes like.
I know Rey's life on Jakku was pretty miserable, but I'd kill for some of that instant bread she had.
— Eli Williams (@elijah_williams) January 5, 2016
The scene in which Rey makes that bread is probably better than most movies. Like, the one scene. Most whole movies. Probably.
— Eric Bailey (@Nintendo_Legend) January 8, 2016
Honestly one of my favorite parts of TFA is Rey’s instant bread.
— Jonny Woodbury (@JonnyWoodbury) December 27, 2015
But such an effect couldn’t possibly have been accomplished practically, right? They totally CGI-ed that bread into existence, didn’t they? Wrong, says special effects supervisor Chris Corbould, who spoke with MTV News about what went into making that single moment.
“Surprisingly that was done practically, although so many people have said to me, ’we thought that was a digital effect!’” Corbould said.
The idea for the bread (which, according to the Star Wars visual dictionary, is part of a dehydration ration pack scavenged from Republic and Imperial military supplies) came from director J.J. Abrams himself, and it was actually a huge task considering that you only see it on screen for three or for seconds.
“You wouldn’t believe how long it took to actually perfect that one, that little tiny gag in the film,” Corbould said. “It started off with the mechanics of getting the bread to rise and the liquid to disappear, but then there was the ongoing problem of what colour should the bread be? What consistency should it be? Should it have cracks in it? Should it not have cracks in it?”
“It took about three months,” he added. “The actual mechanics of it was fairly simple, but the actual cosmetic side took a lot longer.”
But in case you’re one of those people clamoring for a home version of Rey’s food portions, don’t get too excited—the bread might have been a real practical effect, but it also tasted terrible and probably had next to no real nutritional value.
“No, you wouldn’t want to eat it!” Corbould admitted.