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Topic: How STAR WARS was saved in the edit Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 12 December 2017 at 1:57am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I've paid a lot of attention to how brilliantly the first film was put together, but there are a few things mentioned here that I'd never even noticed! There's a reason it won that Best Editing Oscar!


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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 December 2017 at 9:19am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Was that a moment of Aunt Beru's "real" voice I heard?

Still a frustration, that after seeing the movie multiple times in the theater, and on video, the final video choice has her speaking with a different voice.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 12 December 2017 at 11:48am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

The great irony is that the mono mix--considered at the time to be the most polished version of the mix, and the one heard by the most people, back during the film's initial release--has faded into obscurity. 

The 70mm mix, with the original Beru voice, is the one which served as the basis for all home video/TV releases, and is the one most people now know. Certain extra sound effects and bits of dialogue from the mono mix were added back in for the 1997 Special Edition, but the original Aunt Beru voice remained. As a result, the voice heard by the most people back in '77 has now become the "alternate" voice, and a genuine rarity, since the mono mix has never officially been made available on home video.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 12 December 2017 at 12:03pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Great lessons in that clip.  Almost every single editing decision was crucial in transforming that disastrous first cut into what Star Wars became.   Lucas was incredibly smart (or fortunate) to have surrounded himself with people who could help him get to the screened version because that initial attempt was a mess.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 12 December 2017 at 12:23pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

It should also be noted that Lucas only filmed those early Luke scenes because his filmmaker friends convinced him that focusing on the droids for the first 20 minutes of the movie was a bad idea, and that the audience needed to meet the main character as soon as possible. His original concept turned out to be the right one.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 12 December 2017 at 12:48pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Great calls by the editors!

At first I thought it would've been kind of cool to have Luke miss on his first shot at the exhaust port, but on second thought it would have become blatantly obvious would have happened on his second pass.

Thanks for posting Greg.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 12 December 2017 at 12:51pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

There's also a lost bit with Luke missing on his first attempt with the grappling hook before he and Leia swing across the chasm.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 December 2017 at 5:07pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

It all feels like so many bad scripts I've seen -- stuffed to the gills with EVERYTHING, instead of just the elements that serve the forward thrust of the story.
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 13 December 2017 at 3:38am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I still find it incredible whenever I hear that the Death Star was not attacking Yavin 4 in the initial edit. The attack's inclusion is so well done that you would never guess.

Makes me wonder what could be done to up the energy/coherence of TPM - but the issues I have with that are more to do with it driving a coach and horses through any established back story, so maybe not.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 13 December 2017 at 7:09am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Lucas was incredibly smart (or fortunate) to have surrounded himself with people who could help him get to the screened version because that initial attempt was a mess.

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Reading how much Marcia Lucas is credited for building the tension in the trench run scene in editing, as well as convincing George not to cut some of the resonant character moments that made Star Wars memorable, I'd say he was fortunate that he was married to a good editor. It's those things that were missing from the prequel trilogy.
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 13 December 2017 at 8:07am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Marcia Lucas definitely deserves credit. She was quite a talent. George Lucas' AMERICAN GRAFFITI is marvelously streamlined and economical, and Marcia Lucas (with Verna Fields, who edited JAWS!) edited that too, and received an Oscar nomination for that earlier film.


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Eric Ladd
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Posted: 13 December 2017 at 1:49pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Very nice video. Thanks Greg. I had always known there was significant editing on Star Wars, but knowing where the film started from sheds light on the amount of editing that actually brought that picture to the screen.
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Joe Boster
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Posted: 19 December 2017 at 3:07pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

That was a great watch. The editing really did make the movie. It really shows the power of a great editor. It also really shows what is wrong with the prequels and Special Edition, and Lucas believing his own press. 

It makes me sad  that that movie doesn't exist any more. 
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Patrick Mallon
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Posted: 26 December 2017 at 10:39pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

I still find it incredible whenever I hear that the Death Star was not attacking Yavin 4 in the initial edit. The attack's inclusion is so well done that you would never guess.

*********

Part of the video doesn't make sense, time-wise...video says the screening took place in Feb 1977...the novelization of STAR WARS was released in December 1976 and in the novelization, the Death Star IS making it's way through the Yavin system to blow up Yavin 4...

Other than that nit-pick, great way to show case how a film comes together in the edit process.

Sometimes, less IS better...
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 31 December 2017 at 1:38am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Thanks for that, Greg.  Very interesting and informative.  I already knew some, but not all, of the changes.  Nice to see it put in such a succinct manner.
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Robin Taylor
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Posted: 02 January 2018 at 8:07pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

This was a very tidy video, my only wish was for it to go deeper and really tug the string of the editing tricks that hold Star Wars together, like the back and forth roll of the attack of the tuskan warrior over Luke appearing to raise and lower his weapon, when it was really an optical reversal of the shot that terminated with the raising of the weapon.

RT
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 02 January 2018 at 9:46pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Robin, that scene kind of pulls me out of the movie whenever I see it. I wish  they hadn't done it.


Edited by Doug Centers on 02 January 2018 at 9:47pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 02 January 2018 at 10:40pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Robin, that scene kind of pulls me out of the movie whenever I see it. I wish  they hadn't done it.
++++++++

That shot is one of those things I would never have noticed, had it not been pointed out to me.

In terms of shots that pull me out of the movie, the one that immediately comes to mind would be the flopped shot of Artoo at the Yavin base. Since his design is asymmetrical, shots like that really stand out.
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Robin Taylor
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Posted: 03 January 2018 at 9:08am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

If the movie is engaging I only notice the tricks on subsequent viewings but given how many times I have seen Star Wars I think I have found all the tricks lol

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