Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker—#ReleaseTheJJCut is a thing now


Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker came out a couple weeks ago to big box office success and middling critical reviews. Audience reactions have been better, at least if you go by Rotten Tomatoes, but that doesn’t mean that fans haven’t found things to get mad about.

For example, over on the r/saltierthancrait reddit, Redditor u/egoshoppe has posted an unverified account of all the ways Disney screwed with director J.J. Abrams’ original cut of the film, producing something that he didn’t recognize when he watched it in the theater. Purportedly, the original cut was a hair over three hours long, reduced by about 20 minutes at Disney’s urging and cut down further by Disney itself. The unreleased cut would have included more about Finn’s Force sensitivity, revealed that Jannah was Lando’s daughter, and given Rey and Kylo Ren more time to work through their many issues.

So why did Disney supposedly cut the film down? Well, apparently they were trying to sabotage Abrams’ new production deal with WarnerMedia. Disney, you see, is afraid Abrams will revitalize brands like DC Comics the same way he revitalized Star Trek…even though the new Star Trek movies have been plagued by difficulties and Warner Bros. is doing a pretty good job of getting the DC films up and running, what with hits like Aquaman and Wonder Woman. And also there’s a part about Disney cutting some Force Ghost stuff because the Chinese government didn’t approve of the shade of blue used? I didn’t really get that bit.

As Michael Baumann of The Ringer says, according to this report, everything the people on r/saltierthancrait liked was concocted by Disney to sell toys or sabotage Abrams or to provide fan service, while everything they liked — like Babu Frik — was dreamt up by Abrams and his team. (Wait, so apparently Disney added the Kylo Ren-Rey kiss “to please both sides of the fandom,” but it also made the movie offensive to fans on purpose so Abrams would look bad? Disney works in mysterious ways.)

The claims are, to put it lightly, a little dubious, but it wasn’t long before #ReleaseTheJJCut was trending on Twitter, complete with a petition on

To be fair, since this exploded yesterday, people seem to be backtracking a bit after…well, thinking about it for a few seconds.

And even if there were some scenes Abrams wanted in there that got cut — I don’t know whether he had final cut or not — compromises are part of the process of making big budget studio movies. There probably are deleted scenes from the movie — there are in most movies, especially ones of this size — but there is no perfect cut of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. It was always going to be a product of compromise, expectation management and clashing visions, especially after the also-divisive response to The Last Jedi.

Maybe J.J. Abrams has a different version of the movie he would have preferred to see on screen; whether it’s in his head or in some film canisters somewhere, I don’t know. But the version of the movie that fixes Star Wars for everyone? That just doesn’t exist.

Anyway, hopefully we can chock this up to another example of the internet running away with itself before dropping the issue, because #ReleaseTheSnyderCut is exhausting enough.

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