Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson reveals his entry into the Skywalker saga has the fewest number of wipe transitions in the series to date. Since A New Hope first premiered in 1977, wipes have been an integral part of the Star Wars filmmaking technique, paying homage to the Flash Gordon space opera serials George Lucas watched in his youth. Last year's Rogue One was the first installment in the franchise to not incorporate them, but that was by design to help differentiate the spinoff from the episodic films. The seven movies that make up the saga - the prequel and original trilogies, and The Force Awakens - all used wipes, making it one of the brand's most noticeable trademarks.
With Episode VIII continuing the main storyline, it was expected many of the classic tropes would return after being absent from the first anthology film. Johnson has already given fans a sneak peek at the title crawl, revealing the word "decimated" will be included in the three paragraphs that set the stage for the narrative. The director is hard at work editing the picture, and he made note to continue the tradition of wipe transitions - though some die-hards may find The Last Jedi lacking in comparison to its predecessors.
After running a Twitter poll where his followers could vote on which Star Wars they thought had the most wipes, Johnson revealed that The Phantom Menace holds the record with 55. Of the three films Johnson had in his poll, Empire Strikes Back has 42, A New Hope has 31, and The Force Awakens sports 14. The Last Jedi holds the ignominious distinction of having the fewest amount of wipe transitions in the saga, which Johnson jokes he is eternally ashamed of:
The most wipe transitions in a SW movie was Ep 1, with 55.
To my eternal shame, The Last Jedi is bringing up the rear with a measly 12.
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) August 25, 2017
While the number of wipes in Episode VIII is hardly the juiciest update fans could ask for, this development is a sign Johnson could be close to locking final picture. In stark contrast from several Star Wars movies of the past, The Last Jedi has had an incredibly smooth production, with the crew staying ahead of schedule. A couple of months ago, Johnson suggested he would complete post in August, and he seems to be right on track. Of course, this cannot be taken as confirmation Star Wars 8 is finished and ready to go, but if Johnson knows how many wipes he has, he is probably close. J.J. Abrams didn't lock Force Awakens down until November 3, 2015, so if Johnson is done with The Last Jedi with about four months to go, that's quite the accomplishment.
Ultimately, this is a step closer to Star Wars 8 becoming a reality, which is an exciting proposition for viewers around the world. As we make our way into the fall, Lucasfilm should ramp up marketing efforts to 11, with Force Friday II events, a new trailer, and other materials right around the corner. Audiences have waited two years to see how the saga continues, and hopefully The Last Jedi lives up to the hype and is another satisfying chapter.
Source: Rian Johnson
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019