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#ReleaseTheJJCut Is Part of 'The Rise of Skywalker' Discourse Now, Goddammit

By Mike Redmond | Film | January 2, 2020 |

By Mike Redmond | Film | January 2, 2020 |


NOTE: This article obviously contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Despite making a bajillion dollars and ultimately being a massive financial success, it’s hard to argue that Rise of Skywalker isn’t a very wobbly house of cards that instantly crumbles at the slightest whiff of scrutiny. The whole thing is riddled with odd decisions from top to bottom. Por ejemplo:

However, it doesn’t take a conspiracy theory like #ReleaseTheJJCut to figure out what went wrong with TROS, and no, it’s not that Disney didn’t have a “plan” for these movies like the original trilogy had. If you go back and read interviews or watch behind-the-scenes videos, George Lucas was winging it a lot. Leia being Luke’s sister? Pulled straight out of his butt. Did he have a loose framework in mind? Sure. And so did the sequel trilogy. Lucas gave Disney a goddamn blueprint for the next set of films, which J.J. Abrams picked the meat off of before tossing it in a dumpster and remaking A New Hope. (And that’s coming from someone who genuinely likes The Force Awakens.) But I’m getting away from the point here.

When you pair the director of Star Trek Into Darkness with the screenwriter behind both Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, that’s asking for some shit, which Abrams and Chris Terrio delivered in spades. In their limited defense, they were last minute replacements who had to work around the death of an iconic character, and I’m willing to concede that maybe Skywalker would’ve been a better film if the two weren’t working against a tight release window. That being said, it’s hard not to read interviews with Terrio where it becomes painfully clear that he was in way over his head trying to follow up The Last Jedi. Not to mention, he was probably the worst person to combine with Abrams’ penchant for making sure the action never stops so no one stops to think about what the hell they just saw.

In a nutshell, you can easily trace everything wrong with Rise of Skywalker to Abrams and Terrio, and I’m sure Disney/Lucasfilm lent a hand. That’s just studio filmmaking. But because the internet is a propped open rectum from which a river of brain-eating diarrhea flows into frighteningly eager mouths — (See: Mayor Pete is CIA) — we’re barely two days into 2020 and already talk of “The Abrams Cut” is a thing. And what a goddamn stupid thing it is. Here’s just a taste from r/saltierthancrait, which has already splashed so hard onto Twitter that talk of an Abrams cut has been trending all day. God is dead.

- 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”.

Essentially, if you’re to believe this user’s “source” — which you shouldn’t — Abrams did absolutely every single thing right with TROS. If there’s an internet complaint from Rose’s lack of screentime to Reylo, Abrams handled it perfectly until Evil Disney twirled its mustache and went, “Muahaha, NO. The Last Jedi was so bad and awful that we hated it’s billion dollars in box office and demand TOTAL CONTROL of what clearly would be a masterpiece from the guy who made Batman and Superman cry about their moms having the same name. P.S. We also want our own movie to suck to hurt DC because reasons.” The whole thing is literally that ridiculous.

Fortunately, Buzzfeed’s Ryan Broderick is here to provide some much needed context.

Awesome. Looking forward to another exciting year of wishing I went to trade school because you know what doesn’t use social media? HVAC units. Sweet, boring HVAC units. What am I doing with my life…

Mike is a Staff Contributor living in Pennsyltucky. You can follow him on Twitter.

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