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January/February 2020

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Page 24 of 43 23 POST JAN/FEB 2020 L ucasfilm teamed up with director JJ Abrams once again to take audiences on a journey to a galaxy far, far away. Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker opened in theaters on December 20th and stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver and John Boyega, along with franchise legends Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Billy Dee Williams. To date, the film has taken in more than $1B internationally. The project also reunited Abrams with editor Maryann Brandon, who co-edited the project with Stefan Grube. In addition to Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens, for which she received an Oscar nomination, Brandon has collaborated with the director on a range of projects over the past 20 years, including Super 8, Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, Mission: Impossible III and Alias. Recently, she took time to speak with Post about collaborating with Abrams, her workflow and how she approaches VFX-heavy feature films. Was it your past work with JJ Abrams that led to this project? "I am hired, usually, on most my projects, by the director, and so I've worked on all of JJ Abrams' feature films…I had just taken Venom on when JJ told me he had agreed to jump on to IX. So I knew I was going to go from Venom to Star Wars." As an editor, did you intentionally set out to work on VFX-driven features? "I think my knee jerk reaction is, I kind of fell into it. But the truth is, I'm very interested in visual effects and sci-fi and fantasy, and adventure films anyway. I'm also interested in dramas and emotion- al films. I'd love to do a great comedy. But I feel — when I started working with JJ — that all of those things are encompassed in his films. So I feel like I hit the jackpot by getting to work with him because his films have a great sense of humor…One of the things I would say about The Rise of Skywalker is…that I feel it's a very emotional story." EDITING STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER BY MARC LOFTUS

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