For films to get nominated for awards, studios will typically send out screeners of the movies, potentially so that those making the nominations can view the movies repeatedly and make informed decisions. When it comes to visual effects, to really see what the hundreds of talented people working behind-the-scenes have done, you have to look behind-the-scenes.
To that end, studios create VFX reels that offer up comparison shots, looks at how the effects are built, step by step. The reel for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was put up on the official Oscars youtube account, and it shares ten minutes of incredible shots showing the combination of practical and digital effects that made their magic from Industrial Light and Magic and their partners.
Oh, um, obviously, SPOILERS in the video here.
The reel features looks at things like the downed TIE fighter, which was entirely practical (and then also entirely digital). There are looks at Supreme Leader Snoke and his development, and how the interior and exterior of the Millennium Falcon comes together for those daring escapes.
The Oscar nominations come tomorrow morning, so we'll see if this reel effects the Academy the way it does the average fan.