For the final battle with a revived Palpatine sending energy from his hands, Huthart was able to draw upon her experience with the Harry Potter franchise. “The thing about wand fights I don’t like is it’s hard because the rules are so vast,” she notes. “With a wand fight, you’re just standing there, and you can counteract anything. But with a lightsaber, it’s close combat, it’s like a fencing fight, and it’s great.” So she wanted to ensure the Lord of the Sith didn’t too closely resemble another Dark Lord, revealing, “some of the very early design of Palpatine, we had discussions, he was a lot less vulnerable in the beginning. It made him as powerful as a wizard at that point. And I think that might be why we made him slightly more vulnerable because otherwise, we were in that world where he was over-powered.”
“…it does exist…it’s absolutely brilliant…”
All told, she estimates about 90% of the stunt work ended up in the final film, which she calls a pretty good ratio. The same cannot, perhaps, be said for Justice League, another franchise and trilogy capper of sorts. But she can’t say for sure, because, “I didn’t watch the final movie. I have my own reasons for that. But I did text Zack Snyder saying I keep hearing about his cut.” And at the risk of fueling even further internet speculation, she got an answer. “He texted me back within five minutes,” she says. “Next time I am in L.A. I’m gonna hook up with Zack Snyder and watch his cut. Everyone I know who’s seen it, and it does exist, says it’s absolutely brilliant, which I’m very glad about because I feel like that’s the movie we were making.”
And there’s been at least one good outcome for her regardless of cut: she’ll be working again with Ezra Miller’s Flash on his solo movie. She has high praise, at least for his performance. “Ezra as Flash, honestly, his movement, he worked so hard, he came having done all his homework. Normally I’ll grab the actor and I’ll grab the character, and start talking about developing concepts – he’d done it all! He came, and he goes, ‘Yeah, but I’ve been working on this, what do you think?’ and it was brilliant.” The movie was due to start prep in April, but the coronavirus has put it the long-awaited project on yet another pause.
Not that Huthart’s complaining. “If it all stopped tomorrow for me, I don’t think there’d be a part of me that would go, ‘Awww, I never did this,'” she exclaims. “I think Star Wars tops it for me.”
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is available now on digital, Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K.