Rian Johnson Says ‘The Last Jedi’ Only Has — Gasp! — Twelve Wipe Transitions
Anyone who’s watched even just one Star Wars movie knows that the series is notorious for its wipe transitions. George Lucas was inspired by a few Akira Kurosawa films for the original Star Wars, and he also copied the legendary Japanese director’s use of wipes to move from scene to scene. Now, every Star Wars movie, and even the TV series, have wipes, as it’s become kind of a staple of the franchise. Even The Last Jedi has them — but not as many as you might think.
To no one’s surprise, the first Star Wars episode, The Phantom Menace, is loaded with wipes — 55 to be exact. But, Rian Johnson reports that his new movie The Last Jedi will only feature 12. Just 12!
The director hosted a poll on Twitter a day ago to see if folks could guess which Star Wars movie has the most wipes (Reader, I did not answer correctly), and as it turns out Phantom Menace has the most, with 55, The Empire Strikes back has 42, A New Hope has 31, and The Force Awakens only has 14.
So, why less wipes? Well, you certainly don’t need them to transition from every single scene, and an eye-catching scene transition looks way cooler when you don’t do it so many times. At this point, a wipe transition in a Star Wars movie is kind of a fun in-joke with fans. We can probably bet that Johnson is going to make those 12 wipe transitions count when The Last Jedi hits theaters December 5.