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You Can Keep the “Abrams Cut” of The Rise of Skywalker, Thanks

I'm already tired of 2020.

Rey, standing on ruins of Death Star II in the rain, looking pissed off in Rise of Skywalker trailer.

Who knew that 2019 would end with us all thanking screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely for Avengers: Endgame because, at least, it wasn’t Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. In truly baffling fashion, a reddit post has spawned its own Twitter trend, citing an anonymous inside source who supposedly says that it was interference from Disney overlords that made The Rise of Skywalker the movie we saw in cinemas, while J.J. Abrams original vision was much better.

I would like to call bullshit, frankly. What? If we all praised this movie and claimed it was the best Star Wars we’d ever seen, Abrams would get all the credit along with his co-screenwriter, Chris Terrio, right? But now that we all have problems and want to talk about them, it’s someone else’s fault? Likely story.

According to this “source,” Disney, essentially, screwed Abrams over and forced bad decisions onto The Rise of Skwalker to, in theory, make Abrams look bad so Warner Bros. would pass up the chance to have him revitalize DC movies and cut into Marvel’s business.

WB 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. 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.

Now, I have a question: So what was the excuse for Star Trek: Into Darkness or his Mary-Jane-fridging Spider-Man comic that he did with his son, Henry Abrams? The “source” goes on to basically say that it was Disney, all along, who wanted Abrams to fail, and to be quite honest, I have to laugh. So … the idea is that the evil Mouse decided to tank one of its most profitable franchises—you know, the only one left with a movie that outgrossed Endgame in the U.S.—just so J.J. Abrams wouldn’t get to make movies for the DCEU?

We live in 2020. We can like both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DCEU, so if (massive if) there is any sort of truth in this story, someone should call up Bob Iger and let him know that we like all superheroes.

The cut JJ eventually and hesitantly agreed to in early December was 2:37 minutes long. It wasn’t the cut we saw which he wouldn’t have approved of (and which is 2:22 long). Apart from the force ghosts, there were other crucial and emotional scenes missing. The cut they released looked “chopped and taped back together with weak scotch tape” (JJ’s words).

The source goes on to detail scenes and story details that were cut that sound … exactly like what you’d say had been cut if you wanted to appease people who were disappointed by the movie, like more story for the women kissing at the end of the movie, and a brief scene with Rose Tico.

You want to include Rose Tico more? Actually write her a character arc, instead of blaming Carrie Fisher for her lack of a role. Want to act like you’re including the LGBTQ+ community? Give actual representation, not two characters kissing in the background or holding hands.

And, to make matters worse, the supposed explanation for why Han Solo came to Ben makes me want to rip my hair out, so if this was somehow J.J. Abrams’ original vision, let’s keep what Disney decided to go with, because there is no way in hell I’ll except that Leia sent Han Solo as a Force projection to help bring her son back to the light.

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.

The source also continues to double down on the fact that Finn thought, in the moment when he was going to die, that telling Rey he was Force sensitive was the most important thing. As if Rey couldn’t sense that. So, still, f**k that noise.

I will say, there are two things that I do like in the “Abrams cut”: The idea of FinnPoe and the inclusion of more Rose Tico, even if it’s still not enough.

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

The most realistic thing about this ridiculous post is that the problems detailed, it seems, stem from a lack of communication of where people wanted this trilogy to go. The source continually says that Abrams was not happy with what Rian Johnson did with The Last Jedi, and to be quite honest, it shows that no one communicates over at Lucasfilm. Shouldn’t you have started this trilogy by having an outline of what you wanted to happen? Shouldn’t there have been some kind of discussion?

Look, I like J.J. Abrams; I always have, but he does have a tendency to pay homage to properties he loved growing up, and sometimes, it isn’t for the better. Super 8 was sharing the love he had for movies like E.T., while E.T. is a much better movie. These Star Wars movies are almost paying too much homage to the original trilogy while not standing on their own enough.

But then again, you have someone like Kathleen Kennedy running things, and she, apparently, thinks that coming up with Star Wars storylines is “hard” because there isn’t material to adapt in the way comic book movies do. Please insert a gif of me gesturing wildly at the entire Expanded Universe of Star Wars that these movies erased. What is that, then, Kathleen?

The “source” also went on to say that the reason behind Abrams being on a stricter creative leash was because of The Last Jedi.

They had him on a leash and many blame TLJ for the stricter creative approach.

Honestly? Get over it. 90% of the problem with The Last Jedi came from fans who thought it “disrespected” Luke Skywalker instead of recognizing that Luke, like Obi-Wan and Yoda before him, represented the failure of the Jedi—a common theme in Star Wars.

This is all exceedingly frustrating because … why wasn’t any of this leaked before the movie’s release, if it was such a big debacle? If this was a problem within Disney, wouldn’t we have heard rumblings? Instead, now that the movie is out and people have a problem with it, now everyone suddenly has stories about how the evil Mouse is coming for J.J. Abrams and his career?

It seems unlikely to me, and if I’m wrong, then I’m glad that J.J. Abrams had a vision that was better than whatever we ended up getting. I just find it very unlikely that Disney would willingly do this to a Star Wars movie just because they were so scared of Abrams working on DC movies.

Now, though, #ReleaseTheJJCut is trending, and honestly? It’s a mess.

This is basically … not real, and if it is, this is a mess. I’m going back to being mad that they cut Tony Stark and his alpaca from Avengers: Endgame and pretending like the only Star Wars property left is The Mandalorian. Good day.

(image: Lucasfilm)

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Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast.