SPOILER ALERT: THIS INTERVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR “STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI”
“I was so happy to be doing it,” divulges “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” editor Bob Ducsay during our recent webcam chat (watch the exclusive video above). “It’s a little bit nerve-wracking, because it means so much to people, and the films are expensive and highly thought of. So there’s a certain amount of pressure in delivering. But I have to say, the whole way we approached making the movie was just trying to make a really great movie.”
Directed by Rian Johnson, this latest entry in the 40-year-old franchise follows Rey (Daisy Ridley) as she continues to develop her newly discovered abilities under the guidance of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), who is troubled by her powers. Meanwhile, the Resistance led by Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Finn (John Boyega), and Poe Dameron (Oscar Issac) prepares for battle with the evil First Order, spearheaded by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Juggling so many characters and storylines “was one of the great challenges of the film,” Ducsay reveals. However, “Rian’s screenplay was pretty great, and that gets you a long way there.”
Assembling the film’s many action set pieces, such as the opening battle, proved more difficult. “That sequence gets worked out as pre-vis,” Ducsay explains, which is “a basic conceptualization of the scene” before shooting begins. “The very first thing that I do” upon receiving pre-visualizations is that “I go and I’ll start making changes on that, and figuring out things that from my perspective… could be better.” Once the actual footage gets into the editor’s hands, “you learn more about how the sequence works,” and how “things that you thought might work wouldn’t work.”
Ducsay previously worked with Johnson on “Looper” (2012). He has edited such films as “Deep Impact” (1998), “The Mummy” (1999), “Jack the Giant Slayer” (2013), “Godzilla” (2014), and “San Andreas” (2015).
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