Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Editor Weighs in on Reversed Ben Solo Footage

Star Wars fans have now been able to earn repeat viewings of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, resulting in every scene being analyzed to an intense degree. One scene, in particular, has kicked off a number of theories that the film utilized shots being shown in reverse, but editor Maryann Brandon confirmed with that a scene between Ben Solo and Rey doesn't use any reversed footage. This isn't to say that reversing footage to pull off a sequence is an inappropriate move for an editor, merely noting that the sequence in question doesn't involve any such editing techniques.

WARNING: Spoilers below for The Rise of Skywalker

In the film's climactic battle, Rey and Ben collide with Emperor Palpatine, resulting in Rey's death. Ben uses every ounce of his energy to revive Rey, though this action causes him to die. As fans have analyzed the sequence, some theories claimed a shot in which Rey picks up Ben to embrace him was initially shot as Rey placing Ben on the ground.

"I didn't reverse any shots in that sequence," Brandon confirmed. "Those are all straightforward shots."

A shot being reversed will often offer only slight changes to a scene, though fans have theorized about this sequence under the impression that footage didn't exist to convey these actions, with the implication being that there were drastic changes made to the story late in the post-production process. Brandon noted that, while there wouldn't be anything wrong with reversing the shot, this scene specifically didn't utilize the technique.

"I'm not saying I wouldn't do it, I'm just saying I didn't do it in that particular instance," Brandon added. "There are shots where I've done that, forward and back and forward, to elongate a shot or reach an effect I wanted. But it's just not in that scene."

While some fans might be shocked to think that a film such as The Rise of Skywalker would potentially repurpose footage to display something in a way different than originally intended, it wouldn't be the first time that the galaxy far, far away reversed footage.

In Star Wars: A New Hope, Luke Skywalker has a fateful encounter with a Tusken Raider, with the alien species conquering the young boy, which it celebrates by brandishing its weapon over its head. In the editing room, instead of the sequence merely featuring the Tusken Raider raising their weapon once, the footage was looped to create an effect of the alien shaking the weapon over its head in celebration.

Despite former entries in the series reversing footage, The Rise of Skywalker did not in this encounter between Ben Solo and Rey.


Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters now.

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