With multiple people corroborating our leaks from a few months ago, it’s time to speak out. Both the Lucas cut of The Rise of Skywalker and the JJ cut of The Rise of Skywalker were absolutely butchered, and what we see today is an ill-made, taped together version of the film that has no cohesive narrative and did not tell the story the way it was supposed to be told. When JJ told fans they were “right” to be critical of the film, he wasn’t kidding.

There are two Reddit insiders, one of which I have been in contact with, who has corroborated almost everything I have reported via ki adi moonshine. Lucasfilm_insider has revealed that originally, the villain was to be the Son of Mortis yet the studio found that too risky. Initially, Iger gave JJ full creative control, yet in the end, he had very little control. He was against the Reylo kiss but was forced to put it in to appease “both sides of the fandom(teenage bandwagon fans.)” It’s ironic that this is the very thing George fought so hard to guard himself against, yet it’s happening, just like with American Graffiti.

The first insider calls himself Lucasfilm_Insider, who I have currently been in contact with. I can vouch that he is, in fact, a former Lucasfilm employee, after receiving confirmation. This is the information he had to say, and it is eerily similar to the spoilers we posted back in August.

“After Colin had left the project, Rian Johnson was immediately Lucasfilm’s top choice to take over however Iger and Horn weren’t impressed with The Last Jedi and thought it was a step down from The Force Awakens, this prompted Iger to personally offer Abrams the gig. JJ was not a fan of The Last Jedi, actually that’s putting it gently he absolutely loathed TLJ and has some serious beef with Rian Johnson, he only came back if he could have complete creative control and wouldn’t have to compromise with Kennedy or the Lucasfilm story group. JJ’s first move was to consult with George Lucas on the story for Episode IX, they came up with a story that had strong connections to The Clone Wars tv show which featured the Dagger of Mortis and Matt Smith as the Son of Mortis which would’ve been the film’s antagonist. The story also used many elements from George Lucas’ unused Sequel Trilogy treatments. Disney really wanted this movie to be another Force Awakens in the sense that it will unite all fans and be at least initially universally loved, after Solo’s flop at the box office, TLJ backlash and the decline in Star Wars merch it was paramount for Disney that Episode IX be a success with fans, they did not want another Last Jedi on their hands. The film’s direction changed radically during around mid-way of principle photography, JJ told the Disney executives that this film wouldn’t satisfy and unite all fans, this is where the studio medalling began which led to the second abandonment of George Lucas’ ideas. Nearly every story detail from the initial script was either completely abandoned or bastardised. Palpatine was always to have a presence in this movie but not alive or as the main villain, the main villain was to be the Son of Mortis. Disney feared that the general audiences would be alienated, as they wouldn’t know who Son of Mortis was which would make the movie harder to market and this led to the choice of replacing the Son with Palpatine and Matt Smith was completely removed from the movie. Disney ordered extensive reshoots that went on throughout the year leading up until early October, JJ Abrams was not happy with many of the changes that Disney made to The Rise of Skywalker, I don’t know the specifics but let’s just say he isn’t at all pleased with the final product. Essentially the majority of the movie was reshot and reconfigured this year at the same time leaving a ton of important scenes on the cutting room floor. I don’t have any more new details on the making of The Rise of Skywalker other than that but I’m hoping that this post gets people with better sources to give out more details.”

This corroborates The Son, Mortis, and Matt Smith, among other things. A second leak, this time by u/egoshoppe, chronicles the problems between the studio and JJ Abrams, and JJ is mortified by the final cut of The Rise of Skywalker. It is quite an interesting read, but note, it is long.

the rise of Skywalker Trailer analysis

“Since shortly after release weekend, I’ve been corresponding with someone who worked closely on the production of TROS and works for one of the major companies I cannot disclose here. I have verified the source to my satisfaction. To protect the source, I am rewording what we spoke about over the last two weeks and am submitting it to you in bullet point format I have written based on what they told me. The TLDR is that they were upset with the final product of TROS and wanted to share their perspective on how it went down and where it went wrong.

  • The leakers for TROS had an agenda and are tied to Disney directly. My source confessed that they have an agenda as well in that they struggle with ignoring what’s been happening to someone who they think doesn’t deserve it.
  • JJ always treated everyone on and offset with respect so my source’s agenda is that what Disney has done to JJ and how much they screwed him over should be something people are at least aware of, whether you like him as a filmmaker or not.
  • Disney was one of the studios who were in that Bad Robot bidding war last year. Disney never had much interest in BR as a company but they did in JJ because they saw WB (who JJ went with in the end) as a major threat.
  • JJ is very successful at bringing franchises back like Mission Impossible, Star Trek and Star Wars. WB is struggling with DC and aside from Wonder Woman, DC is still seen as a bit of a joke in its current state by the GA.
  • 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.
  • My source mentioned this shortly after the premiere: “The TROS we saw last night was not the TROS we thought we worked on”.
  • JJ was devastated and blindsided by this. He’s 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.
  • Rian was never meant to do IX despite some rumors that he was.
  • JJ was brought back by Iger, not KK. Disney insisted on more fan service, less controversy.
  • JJs original agreement when he signed on was indicating he would have way more creative control than he did on TFA. It became evident this wasn’t the case only a couple of weeks into shooting when the trouble with meddling started.
  • JJ wanted to do some scenes he thought were important but Disney shut it down citing budgetary reasons.
  • May 2019: JJ argued that those scenes were crucial. He had to let go of one of the scenes. The other scene he insisted on was approved at first. He did reshoots and additional photography in July. The new scene was shot at BR in October.
  • 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.
  • My source thinks but can’t 100% confirm that this is because of China. It’s an office talk of sorts. Some VFX people claimed they got a list of approved shades of blue they could use on the Luke force ghosts. Cutting this out was when the bad blood turned into a nightmare for JJ because the movie he was making was suddenly unrecognizable to him in almost every way.
  • My source knows JJ well enough to know that he’s just not the yelling type but apparently in a meeting he yelled something along the lines of “Why don’t you just put ‘directed and written by Lucasfilm’ then?” My source wasn’t present for that exchange but knows some who were.
  • Disney demanded they shoot some scenes that would have things in it for merchandise. “They fly now” is one of them. It’s also JJ’s least favorite scene. At a November screening of a 2:37 cut, he cringed, groaned and laughed when the scene was on.
  • My source says that JJ was most likely not joking when he said “you’re right” in the interview where they asked him about TROS criticism.
  • JJ’s original early November cut was 3 hours 2 minutes long.
  • In January, JJ suggested that they turn this into two films. My source told me this well before Terrio mentioned it in an interview a couple of days ago. When Disney said no, JJ was content with making this 3 hours long.
  • Over a period of 9 months JJ started realizing that one by one his ideas and whole scenes were being thrown out the window or entirely altered by people who have “no business meddling with the creatives”.
  • They were not on the same page when it came to creative decisions and it became obvious that Disney had an agenda in addition to wanting to please shareholders. Disney could “afford messing up IX for the sake of the bigger picture” when it came to protecting things unrelated to IX.
  • 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 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 was confirmed to be Lando’s daughter.
  • 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 late November cut (the last cut JJ approved of) had scenes with Rose and Rey still. JJ wanted to give her a more meaningful arc. Disney felt that that was too risky too. My source mentioned that Chris Terrio said that it was because of the Leia scenes but this is only partially true because she had four other scenes including two with Rey/Daisy that Leia was not in.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.””

Much of this corroborates the leaks that we received regarding The Rise of Skywalker. Although a JJ or Lucas cut will never come to light, it will be interesting to see, now that the films are over, what the cast have to say about their experiences (John Boyega is already throwing shade at the films.)

It’s a shame that we weren’t able to see the film as it was meant to be seen. Instead, we saw a film that lacked cohesion and seemed like it was ripped apart and taped back together. As a Star Wars film, this is a travesty.

About The Author

Founder/Editor-in-Chief

Morgan Lewis is a Video Game Journalist and is the Founder, Owner, and Editor-in-Chief of VGCultureHQ. He has been writing about games for over six years and has written over 2,000 articles during that timespan. He first fell in love with gaming when he received A Link to the Past for Christmas when he was six and is the guywazeldatatt. He also loves anime and anything that has to do with gaming culture and Tetsuya Takahashi games. He is also a huge anime and Star Wars fan.

Related Posts