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.