Born In: Modesto, California, United States
Marcia Lucas is an American film editor who, in her brief career, won an Academy Award for her work in the first instalment of the Star Wars movies Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope and went on to work in the third instalment of the trilogy Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi. However, before winning accolades for the Star War movies, she had already won acclaim for her work in George Lucas’s film American Graffiti and filmmaker Martin Scorsese’s movies Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Taxi Driver and New York, New York. American Graffiti and Taxi Driver won nominations for best editing at Academy and BAFTA awards respectively. Earlier in her career, she was employed as an apprentice film librarian with Sandler Film Library which later sent her to assist the reputed film editor, Verna Fields in the government funded documentary the latter was working on. It was while working on this documentary that she met the young George Lucas and married him. The two later separated.
Also Known As: Marcia Lou Griffin, Marcia Lucas Rodrigues
Spouse/Ex-: George Lucas (m. 1969–1983), Tom Rodrigues (m. 1983–1993)
mother: Mae Griffin
children: Amanda Lucas, Amy Rodrigues
Born Country: United States
Notable Alumni: Los Angeles City College
U.S. State: California
education: Los Angeles City College
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Born on 4 October 1945, in the quaint town of Modesto in California, Marcia Lou Griffin was one of the two daughters of her parents. Her father was an air force officer.
When she was just two years old, her parents divorced and her mother, Mae Griffin, took the two young girls to stay with their grandparents in North Hollywood.
When her father expired, Mae and her daughters moved to a small apartment in the area. Mae was appointed a clerk in an insurance agency.
As a teenager, Marcia went to live with her father when he was stationed in Florida; however, she was back in North Hollywood just after a couple of years.
She finished her high school and joined Los Angeles City College to study chemistry. She studied during nights while during the day worked at a mortgage banking firm to support her family financially.
In 1964, the then boyfriend of Marcia Lucas wished to employ her at the Hollywood museum where he himself worked. He wanted her to work as librarian and catalogue all donated movie memorabilia; however, things did not work out.
Instead she found herself with Sandler Film Library which was looking for an inexperienced apprentice film librarian. The job was not well paying, yet she took it up, a decision that marked her entry into the world of editing.
She worked hard and struggled, and was ultimately appointed an assistant editor. She was twenty then and realising completely that her apprenticeship will eventually come to an after eight years, decided to become a commercial film editor.
Motivated by her love for the work and desire for a stable life, she focussed a lot in her work. To build her editing skills, she edited promos and trailers.
In 1967, Sandler Films sent her to work with Verna Fields who was amongst the very few esteemed female film editors of the time. Fields was working on a government funded documentary - Journey to the Pacific - about President Johnson's trip to the Far East.
The sheer amount of footage pouring in meant that Fields needed additional help. So Marcia was hired along with numerous film school graduates from University of Southern California. One of these students she was supposed to work with was George Lucas.
After moving in with George Lucas, she went on to edit more commercials.
Writer and director Haskell Wexler offered her a chance to edit his film Medium Cool and she accepted. However, George Lucas’s recommendation simultaneously brought her another project – to work as an assistant editor for Barry Malkin on The Rain People.
Marcia had to choose one and she chose the latter to be with George. However, Medium Cool got delayed and Marcia turned lucky, getting an opportunity to work on both projects. The two films released in 1969.
After working on the two films, Marcia Lucas became an assistant editor for George for his documentary short film Filmmaker.
She next worked as an assistant editor on THX 1138 (1971), a social science thriller fiction film directed by George Lucas and produced by American Zoetrope and Warner Bros. American Zoetrope was a production company established by George Lucas and his friend Francis Ford Coppola.
She was next employed as an assistant editor by filmmaker Michael Ritchie for his political comedy drama film, The Candidate starring Robert Redford. The movie was released in 1972.
The 1973 film - American Graffiti – directed yet again by George Lucas became her first film as feature editor (along with Verna Fields). The work earned the two editors a nomination at the Academy Awards.
Her editing skills were next seen in Martin Scorsese 1974 award winning romantic drama Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore.
She continued to work for Martin Scorsese and became a supervising editor for his psychological thriller film Taxi Driver (1976) and musical drama film New York, New York (1977). The former film won a BAFTA nomination for best editing.
She next edited George Lucas’s epic space opera film Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) with Paul Hirsch and Richard Chew. The movie was the first part of the classic Star War trilogy.
In 1979 and 1980 respectively, a coming of age comedy film More American Graffiti and the second instalment of the classic Star War trilogy, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back released. Marcia’s work on the two films were uncredited.
The third instalment of the Star War film series, Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, released in 1983 and had her as one of its editors along with Sean Barton and Duwayne Dunham.
In 1996, she became the executive producer of a movie - No Easy Way – directed by Jeffrey Fine.
In 1998, she produced Robert Little directed short film A Good Son.
Marcia Lucas is best known for her work in Martin Scorsese movies including Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, New York, New York and Taxi Driver.
George Lucas created Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope; however Marcia Lucas was an integral part of the process. As the editor of the film (along with Paul Hirsch and Richard Chew), she played a crucial role making it an iconic film and is also credited with creating moments that made Star Wars special.
It was her suggestion that in the film Obi-Wan Kenobi should die on the Death Star. Also, she ensured that film had little, sweet, playful moments like Leia's kiss for luck. She was also responsible for the famous trench run sequence in the movie, adding a sense of urgency in it. The movie was not just a success but also won her an Academy Award for Best Editing.
Marcia Griffin met George Lucas in 1967 while working for film editor Verna Fields. Two years later, the couple married. They adopted a daughter Amanda Lucas in 1981.
In June 1983, she divorced George owing to his workaholism and emotional blockage problem.
She then married Tom Rodrigues, a stained glass artist who was previously employed as a production manager at George Lucas’s workplace, Skywalker Ranch
The couple welcomed their daughter Amy Rodrigues in 1985. The two divorced in 1993.
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