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Shortly after the highly-anticipated finale to the Skywalker Saga hit theaters, a wave of fans shared their gripes with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Then, rumors about J.J. Abrams’ vision being lost in the theatrical version surfaced. Reportedly, the writer/director had a three-hour-plus version up his sleeve before Disney meddled.
A petition on Change.org has been now created regarding the “J.J. Cut,” and it’s currently nearing 7,000 signatures. Fans who have signed it are hoping to “force” Disney to release a longer version of The Rise of Skywalker. The petition is inspired by a Reddit post that went viral when a source close to the production of the film leaked a series of changes made during post-production.
According to the “source,” they were surprised that the Rise of Skywalker that premiered back in December was not the movie they thought they worked on. It details that J.J. Abrams was “devastated” and “blindsided” by a series of changes Disney asked him to make to the film while it was being edited. The House of Mouse allegedly demanded “more fan service, less controversy.”
The Reddit post claims that J.J. Abrams had a much longer version of The Rise of Skywalker, so much so that he even asked that it be split up into two movies. The final cut that crossed $1 billion at the global box office may have been missing more crucial scenes with Force ghosts, an explanation of Finn being Force sensitive and justice for the Knights of Ren. Fans have been campaigning for the “J.J. Cut” to be released, much like Zack Snyder’s unreleased cut of Justice League.
No member of the cast and crew have come out to support these rumors of a “J.J. Cut.” That said, there is some evidence of more Rise of Skywalker footage than what fans saw on the big screen. Domhnall Gleeson said his General Hux used to have an additional battle sequence and Dominic Monaghan talked about his hopes for the film to get a director’s cut. In his words:
Like a lot of Star Wars fans, I’m hoping there will be a director’s cut so we’ll get to see more and more of the stuff that was filmed. I wasn’t there all the time, but even in the short time that I was there, there was so much stuff filmed that didn’t make it to the theatrical version... Oh, man, there was so much stuff!
Below you can also listen to J.J. Abrams talk about why he has no interest in delivering a director's cut of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Only about three months after the release of The Rise of Skywalker, plans for a digital and home release has been announced for next month. There are a slew of bonus features for the DVD, but a longer cut or deleted scenes were not part of the recently announced extras.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker comes to digital on March 17, and Blu-ray, DVD and 4K release follows on March 31. Would you like to see a longer version of Episode IX get a release date? Sound off in the comments and vote in our poll.