Movies & TV

Is There a Secret, Three-Hour J.J. Abrams Cut of The Rise of Skywalker?

The conspiracy theory says the director's version of the film solves all of Episode IX's biggest problems.
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Once, Warner Bros. released a little superhero film called Justice League. Fans of those superheroes didn’t really like the movie. In fact, they kinda hated it. They hated it so much that they couldn’t really accept that the Justice League they saw was the Justice League they were supposed to see. They, like, really couldn’t accept it, so they cooked up a theory that Justice League’s director, Zack Snyder, was in possession of a better, almost entirely different movie—one that he edited himself— that Warner Bros. squashed.

Over two years later, the battle for the Snyder Cut rages on. And now, it seems like Star Wars fans (who are also a little pissed right now) learned the wrong lesson from the Justice League ordeal: Every maker of any movie we’re unhappy with must have a super-secret director’s cut, right?

Enter Reddit user egoshoppe, who dropped an absolute master’s thesis of a rumor thread on a Star Wars discussion Reddit, r/saltierthancrait. The user claims they have a source who worked closely on The Rise of Skywalker who was “upset with the final product of TROS and wanted to share their perspective on how it went down and where it went wrong.”

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If you want a good, long weekend read that frankly is more entertaining than some parts of The Rise of Skywalker itself, give it a look. Here’s the gist: J.J. Abrams intended to make the Star Wars finale everybody wanted to see—whatever that was—but was severely overruled at every turn by the Mouse House.

The post goes on to detail the scenes from J.J. vision of the film that were cut—which feature more character development, especially in regard to Rey and Kylo Ren, in addition to filling in many of The Rise of Skywalker’s plot holes. Also—we’ll never see this version unless someone leaks it.

The source claims that the ending’s force ghost cameos were actually filmed IRL:

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.

Later on, the source says that Finn had a big moment in the third-act battle:

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.

And that—brace yourself—Disney almost axed king of kings, Babu Frik:

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Babu Frik was nearly cut because some execs at Disney thought he would be the new Jar Jar. They are really surprised that people love him this much. He was JJ's idea and was created in collaboration with some artists and puppeteers. The personality was all JJ.

While a fun read, it’s best to stay skeptical about any rumor of a dusty, secret DVD of a director’s cut sitting around Disney HQ. And maybe, you know, follow a journalist or two with legitimate Star Wars sources on Twitter:

This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been applied by Esquiremag.ph editors.

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