Unless you have been living under a rock on the desert planet of Tatooine for the past 40 years, it’s unlikely, whether you’re a fan or not, that you’re unaware of the release of the final part of the Star Wars saga, The Rise Of Skywalker.
The franchise has always attracted some of the best of British talent, from Alec Guinness and Peter Cushing in the original films, to Ewan McGregor and Christopher Lee in the prequels, and newcomers Daisy Ridley and John Boyega in the new sequels. Behind the camera, the production has always used the best of Britain’s film production experts, and extensively used Pinewood Studios.
The Guardian reports that Episode IX is predicted to set new records for cinema attendance and revenues, which is a success to the whole of the British film industry, not purely Hollywood alone. Film experts are banking on Star Wars boosting attendance and ticket sales in December to hit 17 million, with hopes of it being one of the most successful cinema-going years since 1970.
Pinewood Studios, based in Buckinghamshire, has served as a production facility for every Star Wars film since 2012, when Lucasfilm was acquired by The Walt Disney Company, including the two spin-off films, Rogue One and Solo, both of which with British female leads, Felicity Jones and Emilia Clarke respectively.
The original trilogy also used a largely British production crew, with filming at Elstree Studios near London, and the three prequels using, in part, Leavesden Studios, near Watford, Ealing Studios, London, and Shepperton Studios for episodes I, II, and III.
The BBC made a documentary, The Galaxy Britain Built: The British Force Behind Star Wars, about the production of the first Star Wars film, which is currently available on their iPlayer streaming service.
The Rise Of Skywalker also boasts Richard E. Grant, and the return of the evil emperor played by Ian McDiarmid, once again using the best of British talent, as well as making the careers of Daisy Ridley and John Boyega.
John Boyega won the BAFTA Rising Star award, and Empire magazine’s Best Newcomer for The Force Awakens in 2015, throwing him firmly in to the spotlight, as well as earlier nominations and a Black Reel Award for Best Actor in Joe Cornish’s Attack The Block in 2011. He has recently played the title role in Woyzeck at the Old Vic Theatre, and has performed voiceover work for the Star Wars video games along with Star Wars co-star Daisy Ridley.
Daisy Ridley has also done voiceover work for two Star Wars animated series, as well as 2018’s Peter Rabbit, performing the role of Cottontail Rabbit, which she is due to reprise in the 2020 sequel. She has had many other films roles, including the title role in 2018’s Ophelia, and part of the ensemble cast in 2017’s Murder On the Orient Express.
Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker opens in the U.K. on 19 December, and whatever the future holds for the science fiction franchise, it is sure to continue to use the best of British. Our London and Manchester voiceover studio and agency are here for any audio and transcription needs, and may the force be with you!