Lucasfilm and Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) Art Director James Clyne revealed just how rushed the production for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was.
As uncovered by YouTuber Not My Star Wars, Clyne who has been working for ILM since 2013, when he came on board for The Force Awakens, detailed just how horribly rushed the production was in a number of Instagram posts where he shared concept art from the film.
In an Instagram post back in November 2020, Clyne shared concept art for a Mon Calamari cruiser. He captioned the post writing, “Mon Calamari variant for the battle of Exegol. At a time in the production when we desperately needed more ships. Over the span of a day or so, I kitbashed the Home One ship to fill out our fleet. When ya gotta do what ya gotta do.”
More recently, Clyne shared a shot from the ending of The Rise of Skywalker showing a Star Destroyer crash into Bespin.
He wrote, “Part of a quick montage at the end of #theriseofskywalker Fun building Bespin under pressure. Only had a day to work this out because it was late in the production and we were all under the gun.”
Clyne then added, “Note: scale of Star Destroyer is waaay off. Mainly because the team was looking for a dramatic composition.”
The fact that The Rise of Skywalker was rushed shouldn’t surprise anyone. Director J.J Abrams made it clear on multiple occasions that the film was going through significant changes a little over a month before the film was released into theaters.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly in November 2019 Abrams stated, “We always knew we were going to have three fewer months to postproduction this film.”
He then added, “So much is still being worked on. It’s literally a practical race to get it finished.”
Then in an interview with Rolling Stone that was published a couple days after the one in Entertainment Weekly, Abrams detailed that he was still rewriting the film with Chris Terrio just three months before it was supposed to hit theaters.
He stated, “But the process has really just been, as one might expect, talking through story, finding things that make us emotional and going with our gut the best we can. Listening to critiques and criticisms and trying to make it better as we go. Not being afraid of the better idea.”
He went on to say, “Usually we’ll talk through a scene and then we’ll each go off and write different scenes and then share them and then do passes on each other’s scenes and come up with something.”
“And he’s been great not just in the writing of the movie, but during the movie and even in post, helping make it better, losing things that we keep trying to make work but don’t, and realizing, let’s just cut it. He’s here now, he’s downstairs,” Abrams explained.
As for Abrams saying he wasn’t afraid of the better idea, that appears to be a load of crap. As Not My Star Wars points out in his video, Clyne’s concept art reveals significantly better designs for what showed up in the film.
On May 4, 2020, Clyne revealed concept art of Exegol showing the Star Destroyers rising up out of hangars. He explained, “Initially the thought was to see individual hangars for the Star Destroyers to emerge from. We eventually with a more ‘Living Dead’ from the grave approach. Kinda like both. Notice the early design for the beacon in background.”
He would also reveal concept design of the Beacon on Exegol. As you can see it’s much bigger, more durable design than the one that eventually made it into the film.
Clyne wrote, “Beacon on Exegol for The Rise of Skywalker. Design help from Chris Voy. We wanted something simple, recognizable and somehow Sith. This image is part of a case study for the official ILM website.”
Back to Abrams, the director did admit on November 25th that he had had just completed the film the day before.
He told George Stephanopoulos, “Just. Yesterday. Yes it’s done. Now people have to see it.”
He then seemingly confirmed they were still doing reshoots in October.
It really is no surprise the movie was as bad as it was.
As Not My Star Wars says, “This is what happens when you don’t know or love Star Wars. This is what happens when you try to make films that took George Lucas three years each to make and you try to make them in one year. No detail. No love. No care. No understanding. Just make movies to make money.”
He then added, “And this is the result that you get, ridiculous scale, total disregard for canon, and just an overall mess.”
What do you make of Clyne’s revelation that he had to finish a number of projects in less than a day?