This past weekend, a massive leak about Disney’s Star Wars sequel trilogy was posted on Reddit. Among many interesting pieces of information, the author of the leak claims that there exists a different cut of J.J. Abrams’ fairly divisive Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Before we begin, however, it is important to note that this has in no way been confirmed by Disney, Lucasfilm, or anyone involved in the making of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. On top of this, the author deleted their account shortly after creating the post, so take this information with a pinch of salt.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get started, because there is quite a lot to cover.
This “Lucasfilm insider” claims that they worked on all three of the movies in the Disney Star Wars trilogy — The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker — but noted that they will not disclose who they are.
According to the leaker, a different cut of J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker exists in some sort of form. Though they note that it is only “an assembly cut of what Abrams filmed before re-shoots took place,” the leaker does admit that it more closely “resembles his original vision.”
Much like the long-requested and recently released Zack Snyder’s Justice League, the “J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” cut’s running time is somewhere close to 4 hours in length and features a plethora of scenes not found in the theatrical cut of the film.
Abrams directed The Force Awakens and then stepped down from Disney’s sequel trilogy. At that point, Rian Johnson went on to direct The Last Jedi, and Abrams finally returned to direct The Rise of Skywalker.
The information shared by the insider, however, suggests that not only were Abrams’ ideas for The Force Awakens poorly received by the higher ups at Disney, but that he was also hoping to work with George Lucas.
“Abrams initially had hoped to work with George,” stated the leaker. “That didn’t work out. When George walked, JJ had almost attempted the same. Iger stopped him.”
The leaker also mentions how “Rian was far more helpful with Lucasfilm. Working with them instead of against them,” only to add that “Frankly, this turned out to be a mistake for Rian due to Lucasfilm being indecisive (obviously.)”
According to the alleged leaker, Abrams had a number of ideas for then-newcomer Rey in The Force Awakens, including wanting “Rey to be the granddaughter of Anakin, eventually pushing for her to be Luke’s daughter he had with a fellow rebel after the war.”
As revealed by the insider, Abrams’ original plan was to reveal that Luke and an unnamed “Force archeologist” are Rey’s real parents. The theatrical cut of The Rise of Skywalker opted, instead, to have Rey being related to Emperor Palpatine.
Abrams’ cut would’ve also seen Rey and Kylo’s story being more tragic than initially seen in the theatrical cut.
“Kylo and Rey’s relationship was more tragic,” claimed the leaker, with “Rey wanting to put him out of his misery and Kylo wanting to be free.”
Backing up this claim, the leaker added, “Abrams had seen Kylo as a tragic villain and wanted to tell a dark what-if story to the redemption of Vader. Ben Solo would have always been redeemed, but only through death.”
Kylo Ren does meet his fate at the end of The Rise of Skywalker, though one could argue that his redemption came before he took off to face the Emperor, when he realised he was still Ben Solo and that there was good inside him.
Interestingly enough, Ben Solo has been recently robbed of his redemption arc. Official information recently revealed that it was Rey’s Force Healing abilities that had a Transformative effect on Kylo Ren, which helped him clear his mind and turn to the light side.
Abrams apparently included scenes in which it was hinted that Poe had feelings for Finn, according to the information shared by the leaker. “There were hints to Poe’s romantic interest in Finn,” claims the insider. “Yet in the end, he gives his blessings to Finn and Rey.”
What’s more, the leaker also clarifies that this doesn’t necessarily make Poe strictly gay, as Abrams also wanted Poe to have a happy ending with Zorii — who in the theatrical cut of the movie, has a very small role.
“Poe would end up convincing bounty hunter Zorii to aide the fight with her fellow bounty hunters. The two become mutually interested in the other,” mentions the leaker.
The leaker also mentions that George Lucas was in no way involved in the writing process for The Rise of Skywalker, clarifying that all he did was provide some input on the script that Abrams and Chris Terrio initially worked on and that he didn’t ghostwrite Episode IX.
Since there are quite a bunch of details leaked by this alleged Lucasfilm insider — too many to list in this article, at least — it is best that you check out the thread that was posted this weekend on the r/starwarsspecultion subreddit.
Whether you are to believe this massive leak or not is up to you, but it is also worth pointing out that there are a few inconsistencies that should not be ignored.
For one, why would there a different cut of any Star Wars movie directed by Abrams? He made The Force Awakens and then moved on to work on other projects while Rian Johnson took over as the director for The Last Jedi.
If Abrams was denied so many ideas by the higher ups at Lucasfilm and Disney, when working on The Force Awakens, why was he even brought back to work on The Rise of Skywalker?
To be fair, some of the ideas — like Kylo being a tragic villain and finding redemption in death — did end up making it into the theatrical cut.
Another inconsistency that can be found is that, according to the leaker, Abrams couldn’t work with Lucas on The Force Awakens, revealing that the creator of Star Wars walked from the project.
The above isn’t really true, since Lucas never worked on The Force Awakens. This is something that even Bob Iger, the then-CEO of Disney, mentioned in his The Ride of a Lifetime: LESSONS LEARNED FROM 15 YEARS AS CEO OF THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY book.
Sure, Lucas did make outlines for all three movies in this new trilogy, which Disney actually bought, but he was only allowed to act as a creative consultant with no creative control over the movies. Disney was not contractually obligated to take advice from Lucas.
Most of the information shared on the thread is stuff that had been theorised by the same Reddit community they posted this on, which is one of the reasons why a majority of the users commenting on the thread are calling this leak fake, and it doesn’t help to know that the author deleted their account either.
However, if true, this means that an Abrams cut of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker exists, and that it could end up being released in the same way that Zack Snyder got to release his cut of Justice League, though the leaker mentions that they’re unsure of whether or not such an out come would await Star Wars fans.
“Not sure,” said the leaker. “Heard some talks about it, but Bob Chapek has had his hands full and is rather cheap. I also don’t see a high fan campaign for this ever happening like the Snyder Cut.”
Could it be that there really is a different and, by the looks of it, better version of The Rise of Skywalker out there? Is this nothing but fan fiction posted by someone who has never even worked for Lucasfilm or Disney? Would you even want to watch another version of The Rise of Skywalker?
Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!