HomeNews & Video#ReleaseTheJJCut Sparks Drama Not Seen for Generations

#ReleaseTheJJCut Sparks Drama Not Seen for Generations

It’s been quite eventful the past couple days in the Star Wars discourse – as pretty much every day has been since the release of The Rise of Skywalker. The topic at hand? A faction of the fandom is calling for an extended cut of the film, utilizing the hashtag #ReleaseTheJJCut. A post on the Reddit page r/SaltierThanCrait suggested, among many other rumors, that there is a 3-hour cut of the movie that J.J. Abrams wanted as the final product. The post cites an unnamed source who worked closely on the production of the film.

Some fans have latched on to this idea, as an explanation for the odd pacing and some odd story points of the film. The Reddit post places blame on Disney for holding Abrams back and making the film to their liking, rather than his. One of these accusations is that “while the scenes were shot, a lot of the changes were made in post-production and the audio was rerecorded and altered.” The source claimed these changes were made behind Abrams’s back.

But this doesn’t quite add up with the story Maryann Brandon told to The Rough Cut podcast. According to Brandon, editing was happening right alongside filming, with Abrams involved. “I suggested I cut on the set…we had two tented rooms…so I just went wherever J.J. was, usually 10 feet away from the camera, wherever the camera was. And I just mobile-y cut. And in between takes, [J.J.] could sit down with me and we could go over things.” She did admit the production was rushed, due to a very tight schedule – by her estimate, Abrams had three less months to complete Rise of Skywalker than Force Awakens.

In regard to the divided fandom, Brandon doesn’t believe the movie should be so polarizing. “Basically, the message of the film is, ‘Hey you know what? You can be bad and good can come into your life. And maybe if you’re open-minded to it, extraordinary things can change your mind. And you have to believe there’s always hope.”

There probably isn’t a three-hour cut of the film floating around, but it seems the novelization of the film will more than fill the gaps that left some fans wanting. Author Rae Carson tweeted a tease today:

I have a feeling this will be the most popular Star Wars canon novel of the recent releases. Perhaps fans who don’t typically read the novels will pick this one up in an attempt to better understand the controversial film.

The lesson we can learn from today’s excitement is this – verify those sources! While the points made on the Reddit post seem compelling, nothing is verified. Reddit page r/SaltierThanCrait has been known for posting fake leaks and scoops in the past. Our own Joseph Forbush took to Twitter yesterday to remind us of this:

Regardless of rumor and speculation, the important thing to keep in mind is that what we saw in theaters is, in fact, the J.J. cut. The storylines and character arcs and scenes he found most vital and most important were what we saw starting December 19th. Twitter user @JohnnyHoey put it most succinctly and aptly in his tweet earlier yesterday:

Remember what Maryann Brandon wants us to take away from this film – if we remain open-minded, and willing to accept change and anything the galaxy might throw at us, the most extraordinary things can change our minds. Instead of doubling down on the negatives, let’s celebrate the things we love about this film and this saga.

May the Force be with you!

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Jamie Binegar
"You cannot stop change any more than you can stop the suns from setting.” — Shmi Skywalker

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