George Lucas Took A Lax Approach To Continuity In Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith

A production diary in the book recalls who came to visit the set and what Lucas was working on any given day. On January 20, 2004, Lucas got to meet with Katsuhiro Otomo, the celebrated animator and director of “Akira,” as Otomo was using the facilities of Lucas’ Skywalker Sound to complete his latest picture “Mushishi.” The diary also noted that Lucas was, that same day, examining the landing platforms on the above-mentioned Mustafar, making sure that the spaceships took off and landed in an interesting and visually dynamic fashion. He noted that some of the shots he was planning mildly contradicted others that he also preferred. But he laid out his philosophy pretty plainly, being quoted as saying: 

“The most important thing is to make the landings look good. Then once we get down there, the geography just has to be mostly right. […] Continuity is for wimps.”

Given the way “Revenge of the Sith” was filmed — a lot of static shots in closed-in interiors, punctuated by vast, glorious CGI vistas — Lucas needed his outdoor action to look as dazzling as possible. Many of the interior scenes were merely two characters, usually against a green screen, talking on a couch or talking in an office. Lucas noted himself, “You just don’t get the camera way back very often. Everything else is talking heads against backgrounds. So every wide shot is a signature shot.”

Worrying about the vast visual geography of a scene wasn’t so important as getting said “signature shot.” Was Samuel L. Jackson a few steps away from Palpatine in that one shot, only to be closer in the next shot? Yeah, probably, but who cares? There’s action to do. 

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