After a week of comments from John Boyega and Oscar Isaacs regarding The Rise of Skywalker, we actually now have news of what the original cut of the film was supposed to contain.
I know that I said I wouldn’t be covering The Rise Of Skywalker anymore but hey, new years resolutions are meant to be broken and I think this story paints the film out in a much better light so if I can find something positive to talk about in regards to the movie I will.
Similar to the Snydercut, fans who were disappointed in the film are now crying out for Disney to release this version of the movie and throughout this, we’ll be breaking down all of the elements that were supposed to be in what is now being called the J.J. Cut.
Because of the nature of this, there will be heavy spoilers here so if you haven’t had a chance to watch the original movie yet and don’t want anything ruined then I highly suggest that you turn off now. May the force be with you.
With that out the way I just wanna give a huge thank you for clicking this video, now let’s get into our breakdown of the J.J. Cut.
The J.J. Rise Of Skywalker Supercut Details
Ok so if you’ve been following the channel throughout our Rise Of Skywalker coverage you’ll know that we had a lot of problems with the movie that mainly revolved around it’s pacing, plot holes and story elements that didn’t come to fruition. This included things like the rushed first act, what Finn wanted to tell Rey and how no matter what planet they went to the characters seemed to bump into exactly who they needed to.
When leaving the theatre I had a similar feeling to how I did after seeing Batman V Superman for the first time in that the movie just felt like a lot of it’s key elements had been left on the cutting room floor.
When the extended edition for that movie dropped later in the year it actually cleared up a lot of issues that I had with the movie and similar to what happened in the case of The Dark Knight Vs The Man Of Steel, it seems like Rise Of Skywalker fell victim to the same thing.
We do know that Star Wars movies often get changed and The Special Editions cement the notion that the movies can have things added, and from what the post says, there is at least hope.
Last night Reddit user EgoShoppe stated that since the release of The Rise Of Skywalker that they had been corresponding with an inside source about what the original vision of the film was supposed to be like.
Here is a link to the full post if you want to read it in it’s entirety, however, it’s awash with the ins and outs of the problems that Disney caused and how their control over the project is what actually caused it to become so mismanaged. We know that Disney have a habit of firing directors attached to Star Wars and it seems like J.J. had to fight tooth and nail in order to get even some of the tiniest visions that he had for the franchise put in the movie.
According to the source, Disney is aware that Star Wars is this generation MCU and they know that the biggest threat to their holding over the movie industry is DC.
We’ve all seen that J.J. is brilliant at rebooting franchises such as Mission: Impossible, Star Trek, Star Wars and so on and the director is currently being sought after by DC who wish for him to come on board and take over the reins of the universe. Apparently the idea that JJ would make an audience-pleasing Superman story terrifies them and thus they have taken control away from him in order to make him look bad to potential future investors.
Again we can’t verify this but once you hear the changes it does make a lot of sense.
The source who is apparently close to J.J. says that over the last six months Disney have put ridiculous demands in place and made huge changes to the film without his approval. We do know that there were reshoots in regards to the movie and that the ending was changed several times but apparently a lot of this was done behind J.J.’s back.
A 3 Hour Cut
J.J. wished to originally split the finale into two parts but Disney denied this and said that he could instead make a three-hour cut but they then cut this down to 2 hours and 37 minutes. During the editing process, they cut the movie further down to 2 hours and 22 minutes, removing much of the necessary dialogue and so on.
There was supposed to be a key scene early on in which they explained how Palpatine returned instead of just brushing over it. They stated that Palpatine didn’t come back but rather his spirit did and that this ended up taking over the husk that we saw. This was through using the power of Sith Necromancy and it also adds a lot of reason to why he needed to reach out into the galaxy in order to find a replacement.
His decaying body wouldn’t last much longer and thus he needed Rey to become Empress Palpatine.
When the movie was in production we did hear several people say that the movie had an ending that will blow your mind and this apparently included fully-fledged force ghosts instead of the disembodied voices that came to Rey for the finale. These cameos included Ewan McGregor, Samuel L Jackson and Hayden Christensens.
The voices that we hear in the film were actually shot and the actors were in costume.
The ghosts were meant to surround Rey and act as a barrier between her and the Sith.
J.J. saw this as a crucial part of the film but Disney decided to cut it which yeah, is infuriating because I think this would have been a massive scene for the movie.
‘They Fly Now’
Apparently the ‘They Fly Now’ scene was never part of the film and Disney demanded that this was put in place in order to sell merchandise of the new class of Storm Troopers, this is one of J.J.’s least favorite scenes.
The movie opened with Rey’s training. Her first scene with Rose was shortly after Rey damaged BB-8 during the training. Rose made a silly joke about how Poe is going to kill her for damaging BB-8. There was a moment where Rey took a minute to process what just happened when she saw that vision during training. She looked distressed and worried. The next scene was noise as the Falcon was landing and Rey runs over there. Those two women who kissed at the end were visible in this shot and they were holding hands. One of them ran towards the Falcon as it landed.
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).
They cut some of the scenes from the lightspeed skipping segment. Some of the planets that were cut were Kashyyyk, Naboo, and Kamino.
The scene where the tie fighters are chasing them through the iceberg – those corridors were inspired by a video game JJ used to play in the 90s called Rebel Assault 2 (the third level in the game with the tunnels on Endor specifically).
Jannah And Lando
Jannah was confirmed to be Lando’s daughter.
This is a massively interesting plot point as it was published heavily in the leaks and it gave a lot of reasoning to why Lando remained on Pasana. Apparently he’d taken time away from having sex with Robots to have a child who was kidnapped by The First Order and at the end these two arcs came together.
I definitely think that it’s evident in the movie that this was meant to be the case and it makes no sense as to why it was cut other than Disney were scared that all people might accuse them of making two characters related just because they are black. Again this was confirmed in the visual Rise Of Skywalker guide recently so we do know it was in the film.
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.
This was a huge point of contention in the movie as I didn’t understand how Han appeared as a person and not even a force ghost but with this addition it makes sense.
There were a bunch of scenes where Rey and Kylo (separately) went through quiet moments of reflection to deal with what they were going through. On her part, her going through the realization that there’s something sinister about her past. Him going through regret and remorse but trying to shut it out. My source said that the Kylo scenes were especially amazing because of Adam’s performance and how he managed to portray that inner turmoil. It provided much more context and added deeper meaning to both his battle with Rey and the final redemption arc at the end. It didn’t happen so suddenly and it was more structured than what we got.
What Finn Wanted To Tell Rey
We also learn what Finn wanted to tell Rey and that is that he is Force Sensitive. So Finn wielding a lightsaber in The Force Awakens, sensing Rey’s anger and so on had a lot more grounding.
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/Rey scene where he dies was at least 4 minutes longer with more dialogue. 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.
We’ve seen some backlash from John Boyega in regards to this on Twitter recently so we can kinda guess that it was studio interference rather than where the film went with it.
Finn And Poe
There was also supposed to be a FinnPoe relationship in the movie which we can verify after Oscar Isaac’s comment on 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 mad, 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.
That is all of the additions and changes that we know about and it is more likely that we will get to see a version of the film as apparently the J.J. cut already exists. The source says Disney are keeping a tight lid on it but should someone leak it we may get to see it one day.
The JJ Cut
Overall though I think most of you who disliked the film will agree that this sounds way better than the version that we got. It definitely fixes a lot of problems that I had with the movie and it just sucks that this isn’t the version we saw in cinemas. Again it comes down to Disney not having a plan in place for the franchise and because of this the movie was massively mishandled.
I really hope that we get to see it one day but if not hopefully this has helped you appreciate the film a bit more in regards to some of the plot holes and so on.
Obviously I’d love to hear your thoughts on the J.J. cut and if you would have liked to have seen this version of the movie. Comment below and let me know!