An interesting facet of the production of Star Wars (1977) is that it was very heavily edited; in fact, it even won an Academy award for editing. A lot of the original raw film was terrible, and the original script and scene sequencing was deeply problematic. The deep editing process corrected a large number of serious flaws in the original footage and script. This was often accomplished with voice overs and sophisticated inserts. For example, in the original form of the production it was not clear what the alliance characters were doing by infiltrating the Death Star. This was fixed by adding an insert showing Obi Wan Kenobi disabling the tractor beam. This insert features an elaborate set and animated graphics.

Obviously, this extensive post-production editing process and addition of many inserts with their own sets must have been very expensive. I wonder how it is that this money was found. I understand that originally Lucas was on a shoestring budget and that personally he was broke. His car got repossessed and he was rationed to eating one stale Big Mac a day. How is it that such a penurious production was able to find a large sum of money to do the elaborate editing and post-production work that greatly improved the final result?

  • How do embed video? I pasted the URL and it is not embedded. Commented Dec 21, 2019 at 4:47
  • 1
    You have to use the URL in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAhj_WTlbXc format.
    – A J
    Commented Dec 21, 2019 at 4:50
  • I found an unsourced claim on reddit that he had to take a bank loan after Fox refused additional budget. I can only find adequate sources for him having to loan money for Empire, though. I also read, long ago, that Fox were meeting both Lucas and Bakshi to decide whose movie to provide additional funding to (Star Wars or Wizards), with Bakshi congratulating Lucas on the outcome - but having trouble finding a source again now
    – HorusKol
    Commented Dec 21, 2019 at 9:54
  • 1
    "it was very heavily edited; in fact, it even won an Academy award for editing" Those two things are not necessarily related, and I'd argue they aren't at all. You don't get an award just because you put in a lot of hard work. For instance, Ad Astra got through numerous editors, and AFAIK it wasn't nominated even once for that. It's the result that counts.
    – BCdotWEB
    Commented Mar 24, 2021 at 7:19

1 Answer 1


In the summer of 1976, George Lucas had a decision to make. He was deep into the production of Star Wars, having poured most of his own money into producing the film. In the end he turned to Fox Entertainment who helped him out. The deal memo provided Lucas with $15,000 for developing the film, $50,000 for the script, $100,000 to direct, and 40 percent of net profits.

The link to the article is here: https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/43-years-ago-star-wars-creator-george-lucas-made-a-4-billion-decision-even-though-it-had-nothing-to-do-with-money.html

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .