With Disney Star Wars failing and with The Rise of the Skwalker not being up to par among both critics and fans alike, the blame game is now happening as the "Abrams Cut" is currently trending on Twitter following a Reddit leak.
The leak claims that Disney is to blame for The Rise of Skywalker not being as good as it could have been, particularly with certain scenes, and that things aren't the fault of director and co-writer J.J. Abrams.
Before we get into the leaks, what is interesting is that the Editor on The Rise of Skywalker (TROS) has opened up about the problems faced during production offering that they had a lot less time to work on the movie than The Force Awakens and had to rush things, as the release date for TROS couldn't be changed (via IndieWire):
“We were definitely still trying to figure out a lot of stuff,” Brandon said about the sped-up editing process. “It’s a struggle. It affected everything. About a third of the way through, [Lucasfilm president] Kathy [Kennedy] was like, ‘JJ 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.”
Worth a mention is that Abrams is now at WarnerMedia, as he recently signed a huge deal to develop projects, first said by yours truly to include DC projects like Superman and Green Lantern, and more.
'Abrams Cut' Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker Leaks:
Regarding the new leaks, a Redditor claims to have spoken with someone who worked closely on the production of The Rise of Skywalker and works for one of the major companies.
• It's claimed that Disney screwed over J.J. Abrams.
• Disney sees WB as a major threat and was involved in the bidding war for Bad Robot and Abrams (again, Abrams went with WB).
• Disney sees Marvel as the new Star Wars and that DC is a threat, and that since Abrams has big success reinventing franchises, they don't want Abrams doing a successful fan-pleasing Superman movie, so Disney's "goal is to make JJ look bad to potential investors/shareholders."
• It's said: "The TROS we saw last night was not the TROS we thought we worked on” and that "JJ was devastated and blindsided by this."
• The Redditor further claims:
[Abrams has] been feeling down over the last 6 months because of some of the ridiculous demands Disney had that changed his movie’s story. While the scenes were shot, a lot of the changes were made in post-production and the audio was rerecorded and altered. My source said they’ve never seen anything like this happen before. He’s the director and he wasn’t in the know about what they were doing behind his back.
Apparently, JJ felt threatened over the month leading up to the premiere.
• The Redditor also offers up some cool ideas and scenes by Abrams that Disney decided against, with the following not happening because of China's policy against using ghosts in movies (worth a note is that TROS absolutely tanked in China):
The “ending that will blow your mind” was a part of this. Older actors were included like Hayden, Ewan and Samuel and anyone who wasn’t animated. The force ghosts weren’t meant to be voices because they shot that footage on camera. The actors were in costumes. Rey was supposed to be surrounded by the force ghosts to serve as sort of a barrier between her and the Sith surrounding them.
• Abrams is said to have cringed at the “they fly now” line, which is something Disney demanded.
• JJ’s original early November cut was 3 hours 2 minutes long.
• A Kylo Ren scene was supposed to be longer:
Kylo on Mustafar scene was 2 mins longer. There was a moment where Kylo seemed a bit dizzy and his vision was shown as blurry for a second. Almost as if time half-stopped while everyone in the background was slow-mo fighting. Kylo hears Vader's breathing, then shakes his head and time goes back to moving at a normal pace and he jumps right back into the battle (the scene from the trailer where he knocks that guy down which did end up in the movie later).
• Jannah was confirmed to be Lando’s daughter.
• The Han Solo and Kylo scene was much different as well as Rey force-healing Kylo:
Rey not only healed Kylo's face scar but she killed Kylo when she healed Ben. Kylo ceased to exist when Rey healed him. My source mentioned that some people assume it was Han Solo who healed him but that isn’t true and that wasn't Han Solo. 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.
• A Force-sensitive Finn scene was cut:
Finn wanting to tell Rey something was always meant to be force sensitivity. In the 3 hour cut, it’s explicitly stated. There was a moment when Jannah and he were running on top of that star destroyer and Finn needed to unlock or move something and he force-moved it and acted surprised when it happened. This was replaced with a CGI’d BB-8 fixing whatever he needed to fix on there.
• The Kylo death scene was supposed to be longer:
The Kylo/Rey scene where he dies was at least 4 minutes longer with more dialogue. Ben was always supposed to die. Source also added that if he wasn’t, then that might’ve been in an earlier draft which they haven’t read. The first draft they read included Lando (the first few didn’t). The Reylo kiss and Ben’s death was not part of the reshoots. It was a part of the re-editing. Even the cut that JJ thought was coming out earlier this month had a longer version of that scene than what was shown in the theatrical cut.
• JJ was against the Reylo kiss (or Reylo in general). This was Disney's attempt to please both sides of the fandom.
The Redditor's final thoughts/claims:
• JJ was not happy with where TLJ took the story. The final result is a mix of that story and the story told by Disney and whoever they tried to impress (“certainly not the fans”). JJ is gutted over the final result. Star Wars means a lot to him. He had to sacrifice large chunks of the story in TFA but he was promised more creative control on TROS and instead the leash they had him on was only tightened as time went by. A source said that this is the one franchise and the one piece of his work that he didn't want to mess up and instead it turned into his worst nightmare. When he found out that he was blindsided with the cut they presented, he said "what the fuck??" when Kylo was fighting the Knights of Ren at the end and the Williams music that was used for it was not what he wanted at all. He seemed to think it was out of place.
• JJ's cut still exists and “will always exist”. We most likely will never see it unless “someone accidentally leaks it.”
• The source asked about FinnPoe after seeing Oscar Isaac's comment about how Disney didn't want it to be a thing. This is true. JJ fought to make this happen. This is why Oscar is blaming Disney. It's not just a random throwaway comment. He knows for a fact that it was Disney because these discussions happened. The main cast is insanely close with JJ and are just as pissed, though seemingly more outspoken about it than JJ. During TFA, Disney was hesitant to hire John Boyega because a woman was front and center so they deemed that risky enough so bringing in a male lead who's black made them nervous. JJ fought to make that happen for about nine months before getting approval. The same issue came up when JJ fought to have Finn&Poe in TROS but he lost that battle as he lost many creative battles for this film. Many people, JJ included, came to the realization during this production that the story really is told by shareholders/investors instead of the creatives or anyone at Disney specifically. He tried to make a lot of things happen and was shut down because of this. They had him on a leash and many blame TLJ for the stricter creative approach.