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Topher Grace Explains His ‘Star Wars’ Edits, Reveals What He’ll Re-Edit Next

Topher Grace
Steven Lovekin, Getty Images/Lucasfilm

Topher Grace made headlines a while back with a rumored edit he performed on the ‘Star Wars‘ prequel trilogy, chopping ‘The Phantom Menace,’ ‘Attack of the Clones’ and ‘Revenge of the Sith’ down into one streamlined, 85-minute package. The story, at the time, was that Grace was training himself to become an editor, and the cut he showed to friends scored largely positive reviews.

As it turns out, some of that story is false.

Grace opened up to Huffington Post while in New York City to promote his Tribeca Film Festival feature ‘The Giant Mechanical Man,’ which co-stars Jenna Fischer of NBC’s ‘The Office.’ But the conversation steered to Grace’s ‘Star Wars’ cuts, and found that the former ‘That ‘70s Show’ star was more than willing to elaborate on his process.

For starters, Grace shoots down the notion that he was trying to become an editor. Instead, he said he wanted to practice editing to better understand it so that it would ultimately improve his acting skills.

“There’s this expression that it’s written three times: during the script, when you’re filming it and when you’re editing it. And I believe that’s wrong. I think it’s written once, in editing — and everything is clay for that. And I wanted to learn about it — I thought it would be neat. It’s like learning to play the piano and I need a lot of clay.”

Grace says no one from Lucasfilm has contacted him about the edit, but he thinks he’s in the clear because he has no intention of showing it to people. He does intend, however, to practice his newfound editing skills on another classic from the ‘70s: Steven Spielberg’s ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind.’

“Why I did it was to repeat it every three or four months: I wanted to do this one, I want to do “Close Encounters” — just a faster paced one. It’s like if you were in the editing room and wanted to have a conversation with the director. It’s not making fun of these things at all or saying they were bad. And then I wanted to hand it off, so, hopefully, in June or July, we’ll do another one. I actually had a trailer for ‘Close Encounters’ that ran in front of the ‘Star Wars’ one.”

Too bad none of us will ever get to see them, unless Grace invites us over for a private screening. Maybe he can show us ‘Spider-Man 3,’ as well. The notoriously panned sequel killed Sam Raimi’s franchise and prompted a reboot. Grace says he’s a fan of Marc Webb, and thinks they’ve made some great casting choice on this summer’s ‘The Amazing Spider-Man.’ But he doesn’t regret the opportunity playing Venom on Raimi’s film gave him.

Click here to read the full interview. It’s a surprisingly candid conversation from an actor who isn’t afraid to voice his opinion on any number of interesting topics.

Now, how do we get our hands on that ‘Star Wars’ edit?

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