Another day, another Star Wars revelation. A recent Reddit post revealed that the version of Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker that we saw in theaters was not the one that J.J. Abrams wanted to put out. Not only did the post describe key scenes that were taken out of the movie, but it also discussed the toxic dynamic that was happening behind the scenes.
Fans are demanding that Disney release the J.J. cut of the film and are claiming that audiences, and the director, were robbed of a satisfying Star Wars conclusion.
Here's how a Reddit post got #ReleasetheJJCut trending.
The post ignited the Star Wars fanbase and #ReleaseTheJJCut took over Twitter. It revealed that Disney made several changes to Rise of Skywalker that the director either didn't want or had no knowledge of. The original cut of the film was 3 hours and 2 minutes. J.J. was shown a version that was 2 hours and 37 minutes and he hesitantly agreed to it. The version that made it to theaters was 2 hours and 22 minutes.
One of the biggest changes was the ending. Instead of hearing the voices of Jedi past, a few Jedi, limited to only those who appeared in full length films before, were supposed to appear in the form of force ghosts and form a barrier between Rey and the Sith. Speaking of characters related to the force, it's hinted at in the final version that Finn is force sensitive. But in the original version, there are scenes that would make it more apparent.
Another big change was that Rose was supposed to have a bigger role in the story. J.J. had previously praised Rian Johnson for casting Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico and the Rise of Skywalker director received flack for her role being cut to just over a minute. According to the Reddit source, who claims to have worked on production of the film, J.J. was not a fan of her role being limited too.
We almost got a longer Ben Solo redemption arc and a romantic FinnPoe relationship.
The source claimed that the The Force Awakens director had set up a FinnPoe relationship in the first film and fought with Disney to see it come to fruition in the final film. But ultimately Disney won that battle. Even Oscar Isaac was aware of the fight, which was why the actor blamed Disney for being too afraid to have a same-sex relationship and not J.J. instead.
Another issue that upset fans was that Kylo Ren was supposed to have a larger redemption arc. In the scene where Rey stabs Kylo and then heals him, she effectively kills Kylo and brings Ben Solo back to life. But she's not the only one who helped Ben be reborn.
The source claimed, "That was Leia using her own memories as well as Ben's to create a physical manifestation of his own thoughts to nudge him towards what he needed to do. That was her own way of communicating that with him. And it wasn't possible without her dying in the process. She made the ultimate sacrifice for her son and this flew over people's heads with the Disney cut."
The scene in which Ben dies was also originally four minutes longer. J.J. also fought against Ben and Rey's kiss. There were also other scenes where Rey and Ben struggled with their fates separately, with Rey coming to terms with her dark bloodline and Ben coming to terms the regret he has over his past.
So why did we not get the J.J. cut?
According to the source, the director was heartbroken over the final film and the weak final version was actually what Disney intended to do. WB has been attempting to sign J.J. on to work on future DC projects and Disney was concerned that he would make DC into more of a threat to Marvel. The goal behind Rise of Skywalker became to make the Star Trek director look less desirable to WB to protect their future investments.
Throughout his time working on Rise of Skywalker, the source claimed that many involved in the production were upset for J.J. who felt threatened by the House of Mouse. It's unlikely that we'll ever see the J.J. cut if Disney did intentionally sabotage it. And, if they did, we should also not expect to see the filmmaker work with Disney again.