We know that to create such a technical masterpiece as Star Wars, it needed a creative and expansive imagination to come up with something that has elements of sci-fi, war, and adventure all rolled into what some considered strange at the time.
Now we’re living in a time where information is near instant, a lot more insights into the making of the franchise have been discussed, especially the creative process, and this is where Marcia Lucas comes into the equation.
Find out below about her time as an editor and the contributions she made to make Star Wars what it is recognized as today.
How Did She Get Involved With Star Wars?
We have to look back to when the couple met, and this would have been around the time when Marcia was hired to work as an assistant editor to, you guessed it, George Lucas.
They would’ve been working together at this point around the 60s when they were working on documentaries for the United States information agency and shorts such as Journey to the specific, so at this point, you could say that both of them were still learning their craft.
From here, the couple married in 1969.
During the 70s, Marcia continued working as an editor for films such as American Graffiti, Alice doesn’t live here anymore, Taxi driver, and Star Wars in 1977.
What Contributions Did She Make To Star Wars?
It might be surprising to hear that she had a substantial contribution when it came to making scenes, and it has been said that during the trilogy, when the film was on the cutting room floor, Marcia gave suggestions to improve plot elements and scenes.
One of these suggestions came in the form of an idea of using force ghosts for times like when Obi-Wan Kenobi is killed at the hands of
The introduction of these ghosts adds to the concept of the force as we see other characters use it as the original trilogy goes on.
Many of these scenes rely on characters like
You could say that her ideas added warmth and tenderness to the films, and she was someone that George could happily talk to and discuss ideas with, and with this openness, she could tell him if he was going wrong in a particular area.
What About Awards?
For her editing work on A New Hope, she, alongside Paul Hirsch and Richard Chew, won the 1978 Oscar for best film editing, and all three shared a Saturn award for outstanding editing, so her work has been recognized in this way.
Outside of this franchise, she was nominated for an Oscar for her editing work on American Grafitti and a BAFTA film award for her work on Taxi driver.
In both of these nominations, she shared credit with at least one other person.
What Is She Up To Now?
After 14 years of marriage, trying to raise a family, and a heavy workload drove the two apart, and with this came the end of their collaborations, and we can tell her intense passion for the franchise as soon as the prequels came out.
When the Phantom Menace was released to cinemas in 1999, there is a sad story that Marcia recalls where after seeing it went to the parking lot and cried as she thought it wasn’t good, as there was such a rich vein of characters to work with and write exciting stories.
It’s not a coincidence that Star Wars fans are aligned with Marcia regarding the prequels, and we can only guess how she would have changed these films to make them liked, so perhaps it’s not a stretch to say that she was the glue that held everything together.
What About The Sequels?
Marcia has been just as honest with the new trilogy as she has recently talked more about her role in the original trilogy and what she thinks of the latest storylines.
She has been primarily negative about them as she criticizes the team for not understanding Star Wars.
She speaks negatively about Rey, the female lead, which Marcia argues is ambiguous as no one knows how she got her Jedi powers or who she is in the overarching plot of the franchise.
Considering these comments, alongside George’s distancing himself from Lucasfilm and Star Wars itself, it seems that it’s right on the money if you consider many claim the storylines and characters are underwhelming or lacking the Star Wars fundamentals.
However you feel about the prequels or the new trilogy, know that you’re not alone, and someone from the original team agrees, so now that is sorted out, what does the future look like for Marcia?
Between the split from George and the recent comments she made (some of which are in a 2021 book from the producer Howard Kazanjian), she hasn’t had any significant editing role in a film since.
However, she did have a few producer roles between 1996-2006.
Part of why fans have only recently heard of her contributions in the last few years is because Marcia chose not to comment too much on the films.
It is said that she was worried about what people would think and didn’t want to appear sour over the whole situation.
Even though George himself doesn’t speak about Marcia’s involvement in the Star wars films, it is speculated that George was heartbroken over their divorce, so considering it’s been around 45 years since A New Hope came out, there are still some passionate feelings towards this.
Even though Marcia left the industry to raise her family, it seems that perhaps she is happy to remain on the outside and concentrate on what is most important to her, but as we’ve seen the shift in quality over each successive film, there’s no doubting her importance here.
When we look over the interesting career of Marcia Lucas, it’s clear that she still has a love for these classic characters, and we can sympathize with her comments, as it must be heartbreaking to see your hard work turn into something you don’t like.
When you next see or talk about Star Wars, take a moment and think about Marcia Lucas and the rest of the team who made these films possible.