Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker went through plenty of changes throughout the production process, especially in post-production. There are plenty of scenes and sequences, including an expanded role for Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico, that were left on the cutting room floor. But along with that, there were also a handful of scenes that were added in post-production thanks to a series of reshoots that took place over the summer, and thanks to The Rise of Skywalker editor Maryann Brandon, we know a few of those late additions.

While appearing on The Art of the Cut podcast (via Collider), editor Maryann Brandon (who also worked on The Force Awakens for director J.J. Abrams) discussed some of the scenes that were added in post-production. Brandon says:

“We added a couple of scenes. We had two weeks back in London in July and we added a couple of scenes and added some dialogue that we felt we needed, and there were a couple of very small emotional moments that J.J. and I and Stefan decided would benefit the film, and we went back and got those.”

Every blockbuster movie allows time for reshoots once the director and editor figure out what’s working in the movie and what might need to be tweaked. And it sounds like The Rise of Skywalker reshoots weren’t anything major. Brandon highlighted a couple of the additions they made with reshoots back in July:

“The scene on the island with Luke, when Luke sees Rey. The film kind of informed us, after it was together, what it needed to say so we went back and got that dialogue. There was like a funny moment between Poe and Rey when he lands the Falcon and it’s on fire, we wanted to have a more humorous exchange between them. Nothing major, no.”

Since Brandon says this was nothing major, we’re going to assume that the scene with Luke and Rey back on the islands of Ahch-To wasn’t crafted entirely in reshoots. We always knew Luke Skywalker was going to be back in some capacity, and it sounds like it was the dialogue in that scene that maybe needed to be reworked in order for the scene to work better in the final cut.

There was one entire scene that was added in reshoots, and that’s the first interaction between Rey and Leia in the movie. Brandon explained:

“We shot Rey’s introduction when she’s up in the air and the rocks are spinning around her, because we wanted to introduce Leia and her. I had to go back and find good shots of Leia that we hadn’t used in [The Force Awakens], and we had those and it kind of made us think, ‘Oh we could have this really fun scene to introduce Leia and Rey.’ So the film kind of informs you of things it might need.”

You might remember that the trailers for The Force Awakens originally showed that Leia received her brother’s lightsaber from Maz Kanata instead of Rey stumbling upon it herself before it was handed off to Finn. And that’s how we got the bonus footage of Carrie Fisher being able to interact with Rey, including the exchange of Luke’s lightsaber.

Beyond that, Brandon says that there wasn’t anything significant that needed to be added in reshoots. Considering how much changed throughout production, we’re not sure that’s entirely true. But perhaps many of the changes discussed happened throughout production and didn’t need to be part of reshoots. Here’s hoping we’ll learn more about how The Rise of Skywalker came together as time goes on. Surely there will be many more stories to tell that we haven’t heard yet when this new trilogy has had some time to settle.

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