Mr. B wrote:
I would attribute the "multiple core ejections" to the effects department not giving a damn. If they moved a little faster they could have just as easily been photon torpedoes.
The production designer told me that his art dept came up with key views for all the ships and environments, and ILM basically executed those while adding only modest enhancements/flourishes. If there's something lacking in the scene you mention, it is probably because Abrams' people wanted it to look that way, rather than an ILM failing, especially given that there was no time crunch on this project.