Reddit user EgoShoppe purportedly spoke with someone who worked closely on the production of the trilogy-closing Star Wars installment and wrote a lengthy post with all the details on the SaltierThanCrait subreddit. Among its many claims is one that Disney was trying to complicate the rollout of Episode IX to damage Abrams' stock with Warner Bros., the company he just signed a lucrative deal with, partially to hamper the studio's uneven DC Comics films.
"WB [Warner Bros.] wants Abrams for some DC projects. My source said that this generation’s Star Wars is the MCU, and Marvel’s biggest threat is a well operational DC," EgoShoppe wrote. "They want to keep DC in the limbo that they’re in right now. Abrams jumpstarting that franchise with something like a successful, audience-pleasing Superman movie makes them nervous. Their goal is to make JJ look bad to potential investors/shareholders."
The post describes a version of the film Abrams worked on that was radically different from the one fans saw in theaters, leading fans to create the trending hashtag #ReleaseTheJJCut.
Abrams' alleged cut, running three hours and two minutes long, featured more scenes of Rey and Kylo having sorely needed "quiet moments of reflection." Also: former Star Wars actors Hayden Christensen, Ewan McGregor, and Samuel L. Jackson appearing as Force ghosts to help Rey, more impactful scenes with Finn and Rose, and much more. We were also apparently supposed to discover that Jannah is Lando Calrissian's daughter.
Some irate viewers are now demanding to see the rumored Abrams cut—and just as many are calling out the ongoing, deafening silliness.
If it exists, fans will likely never see it. Disney is notoriously controlling with its projects.
Meanwhile, J.J. Abrams' longtime editor is opening up about the process that led to the underwhelming film. Maryann Brandon (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Mission: Impossible III) talked with The Rough Cut podcast about the film's rushed production as they struggled to keep up with the Dec. 20 release date, IndieWire reports. Brandon said the editing process was "a struggle," which probably comes as a shock to no one—especially Rose fans.
"We were definitely still trying to figure out a lot of stuff," the editor said. "It’s a struggle. It affected everything. About a third of the way through, [Lucasfilm president] Kathy [Kennedy] was like, ‘J.J. has got to spend more time in the cutting room.’ And I knew that wasn’t going to happen. Not with the schedule that we were on. Not with what he was dealing with on a daily basis...he was just exhausted at the end of the day."
The exhaustion makes sense, as Brandon told the podcast the Skywalker crew was given three months less to pump out the film than they had when they were shooting 2015's Episode VII. The RoS release date set by Disney was set in stone, so Brandon had to edit on set. Prior to that, the film's original director Colin Trevorrow was replaced with Abrams as a late addition. Not exactly an ideal environment.
The editor admits that Skywalker was pretty much fan service, as well. "Look, sure, it’s fan service," Brandon said, speaking to the fact that Star Wars fans are probably the touchiest fans of any art. She noted that "if you didn’t service the fans, it would be, ‘Oh, he didn’t go along with the history of Star Wars and what it all means.’"
Regardless, people are still heading out in droves to see the film. The Rise of Skywalker has grossed over $390 million domestically and boasts an outstanding $774 million at the international box office.