Topher Grace Explains His 85-Minute Star Wars Edit

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Topher Grace is best known for playing the dorky, Star Wars geek Eric Foreman on That 70s Show, but he’s also a big geek in real life. So great a nerd is he (and, apparently, so much spare time does he have) that he re-edited the three often derided Star Wars prequel films into one 85-minute film. So far, he’s only screened it for a small, select group of folks but, according to reports of those who were there, it’s a pretty good film. While Grace’s re-dit will likely never reach larger audiences unless some enterprising soul manages to leak it online, Grace did recently share a little more about the origins of the film.

Lots of rumors have been flying around the internet ever since word of Grace’s film got out, so the actor took an interview with HuffPo‘s Mike Ryan about his new indie film as an opportunity to set the record straight. While Grace does have an interest in editing, he says he never set out to “become” an editor or director with the prequel project. Instead, he was looking to learn a bit about editing and its role in shaping the story told in order to improve his acting chops…

I did want to learn how to edit, in the way that directors sometimes take acting classes. They’re not doing it to become actors, they’re doing it to understand the medium they’re in better, from another angle. […] 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.

Despite the prevailing prejudices against the Star Wars prequels, Grace insists the re-edit (or the one he’d like to do of Close Encounters of the Third Kind) wasn’t about “making fun of these things at all or saying they were bad.”  He frames it as more of a “conversation” with the director(s) of the original films, although I don’t know that the original filmmakers would see it in quite the same way.  Grace also reveals that LucasFilm hasn’t contacted him about his re-edit, probably because he’s “never going to show it to anyone”.  And that just seems a shame.


  1. Yeah… probably because the re-edit makes it so that things actually make sense, Jar-jar Binks ends up on the cutting room floor, and all the other characters figure out who the bad guy is after the first 20 minutes of chapter 1, like all the rest of us did.

    My first thought after seeing Episode 1: “I could write this shit…”. My second thought: “But why would I want to…?”

    • Just as an addendum… the original three, I still think were beautifully done, though the ewoks may have taken it a bit too far down muppet lane – still not something that broke the story, or made you twitch afterwards. It really is a shame that the prequel movies could have been thought through just a little more – so much opportunity to do something much better. Maybe we’ll get to see this shorter cut – it really would be nice to see the storyline re-edited to make better sense.

  2. Poopstar says:

    Ehhhh… I’ve heard the argument before, with few exceptions I think the movies just needed better direction. You could tone down Jar Jar a bit in Episode I, but it doesn’t solve the lack of Han Solo style charisma, it may infact make the film even more unbelievably dry… I guess you could take out midichlorians. Episode III wouldn’t really benefit from any editing, it’s decent but not great as it is and I don’t think editing would change that. Episode II might be the best candidate… remove the whole “Lucas ate shrooms” C-3PO-Battle droid head switching scene and it would probably pass III as the favorite of the prequels.

  3. This guy needs to be hit with something very large. How can you be famous, make something star wars fans want to see and not show us… more to the point, SHUT UP about it if your not going to show it!! You’re starting to sound like Cartman.

    • Saralyn says:

      Cut the guy a little slack. It’s not like he’s actively running around publicizing it. One of the “select group” he originally screened it for blabbed about it to the internet, so he’s just trying to explain himself and put to bed a few rumors.