The Editing of Star Wars 07/31/12
The Editing of Star Wars: How Cutting Created a Classic explores the post decisions made for this legendary film.
We’ve never really dedicated an entire blog post to a publication, but when UK editor Linton Davies asked us to spread the word about his book, The Editing of Star Wars: How Cutting Created a Classic, we couldn’t resist.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away…(um, er – right here), George Lucas created a film that would be the formative experience for a legion of influential filmmakers.
James Cameron, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, Ridley Scott and countless others have proclaimed the impact this film had on them.
So why, then, has their been such little ink spilt over the process of cutting this film?
I guess with this craft of editing being ‘invisible’ and all, it’s easy for principle editor Paul Hirsch‘s skill to be overlooked.
Davies rights this wrong by conducting an editorial examination of this film from the standpoint of:
- Parallel Action
- Character Focus
- Editor as Screenwriter
- Editing as Style
He states that cutting is at the very heart of everything we love and remember about Star Wars; he examines how cutting is used to enhance and draw out these emotions to the greatest extent possible.
For instance, in the opening scene showing the confrontation between rebels and stormtroopers, he looks at how the editing gives the audience a richer sense of the unfolding drama:
Here Hirsch allows two rebel ﬁghters to die twice in consecutive shots; this is unnoticeable given the duration of the cuts, but adds to the feeling of confusion and massacre.
Even if you’re not an editor, this book will give you new insight and perspective on this landmark film.
And with the availability of it in multiple formats, there’s no excuse not to support Davies and his quest to rid the galaxy of ignorance.
Linton, this goes without saying, but – may the force be with you.