Lucasfilm Closes Singapore VFX Studio At the back of Clone Wars

By qaxio

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Image: Lucasfilm

In a move to “consolidate their global footprint,” Lucasfilm is shutting down its Singapore visual effects and animation studio. This division of Industrial Light and Magic was established in 2004 as the lead studio for Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Variety reports that a Disney spokesperson also said that this decision was influenced by “economic factors affecting the industry.”

The news comes on the 15th anniversary of the animated series, which launched on this day in 2008 with a feature length movie. Set between the events of Attack of the Clones (2002) and Revenge of the Sith (2005), the Clone Wars animated series would air primarily from aired from 2008-2014 (before returning for a final season in 2020), adding context and character to the galaxy as it dealt with political maneuvering and the struggle between the Sith and Jedi as they postured across trade deals. It helped bring a new, young audience to Star Wars at a time when the franchise had largely retreated into the realm of books, comics, and video games after the conclusion of the prequel trilogy, and introduced some fan favorite characters, including Ahsoka Tano—Anakin Skywalker’s erstwhile padawan, who will soon be starring in her own live-action series.

The shuttering of the Singaporean studio will affect about 300 animators and designers. Luke Hetherington, executive in charge of Industrial Light and Magic’s Singapore and Sydney studios told Variety that they would be working to place the laid off workers at other studios, and will host a job fair to help them find work elsewhere in Singapore.

Two Singaporean government agencies, the Economic Development Board and the InfoComm Media Development Authority released a joint statement. It reads as a hopeful assertion that the work that ILM had done to train up animators over 17 years would continue to benefit Singaporeans and would help establish Singapore as a hub for animation. “Lucasfilm’s leaders actively contributed to training generations of students in digital and tech skills at polytechnics and Institutes of Higher Learning.”

All episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars are available to stream on Disney+.

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