Star Wars The Last Jedi Wipe Transitions

There are plenty of signature traits you’ll find in a Star Wars movie. There’s some variation of “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” a varied group of aliens and creatures all over the place, and Stormtroopers who pretty much never hit their mark. But that’s all stuff within the Star Wars universe itself. Star Wars movies also have certain aesthetic traits that every fan will recognize, but when it comes to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it will be distinctly lacking in one of those features.

Director Rian Johnson, who is currently busy in post-production on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, recently took to Twitter to reveal that his movie will have the least amount of wipe transitions of any Star Wars movie in the entire saga.

A couple days ago, Rian Johnson posed this question to his Twitter followers:

He didn’t follow up until yesterday with the the answer to that question:

That’s when he revealed this small detail about Star Wars: The Last Jedi:

The use of these transition wipes in Star Wars movies was a signature choice by George Lucas to move from one scene to another. He was inspired by similar wipes used in he films of Akira Kurosawa, whose movies had great influence on the style of the original Star Wars. It was a trait that stuck around when the prequels came around starting in 1999, and since The Phantom Menace has the most wipes, it looks like he maybe went a little overboard with the transitions, much like he eventually got a little excessive with the lightsabers.

However, it appears Rian Johnson may have his count of transition wipes off, including which one has the most. Here’s an infographic from the book Star Wars Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to a Galaxy Far, Far Away:

Star Wars Wipes - Infographic

According to the authors of this book, here’s how the transition wipe counts break down:

  • Star Wars: The Phantom Menace – 57
  • Star Wars: Attack of the Clones – 43
  • Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith – 102
  • Star Wars: A New Hope – 50
  • Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back – 42
  • Star Wars: Return of the Jedi – 33
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens – 19

The discrepancy here could be what Rian Jonson considers a wipe transition as opposed to how the authors of the book determined that. However, I’m inclined to trust the creators of the book since they break down the kind of wipes in question and how many times they appear. But even so, Star Wars: The Last Jedi still comes in last with the least amount of wipe transitions. So does the Star Wars The Last Jedi wipe transitions count mean anything for the overall style of the movie?

Well, even though it may be an aesthetic departure from the last movie, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story doesn’t have any transitional wipes. But that’s more of an effort to make the spin-off stand out from the rest of the saga movies so those that follow don’t have to adhere to the same rules all the time. Even so, it still had the spirit of a Star Wars movie from the original trilogy.

However, we’ve heard from certain sources who have seen a rough cut of Star Wars: The Last Jedi that it’s different from any of the Star Wars movies we’ve seen before, but in a compelling way. Perhaps the lack of transitional wipes is something that helps solidify that sentiment. We’ll find out when Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives on December 15, 2017.

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