Some Star Wars fans are petitioning Disney to release J.J. Abrams' extended director's cut of The Rise of Skywalker, following widely-circulated rumors the studio imposed changes on the filmmaker's original vision for the finale of the episodic "Skywalker Saga." The purported existence of the extended cut, referred to as the "J.J. Cut," originated on Reddit, where a user claimed Abrams was "blindsided" by changes made to Skywalker without his involvement. According to the user, Abrams' original version was three hours long and was noticeably different from the two hour and 22-minute theatrical version that reached theaters in December.
A petition launched on Change.org has garnered over 5,800 signatures urging Disney to release Abrams' original vision for the finale to the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Whether the alleged "J.J. Cut" exists, Abrams' longtime collaborator Dominic Monaghan — who appears in Rise of Skywalker as Resistance fighter Beaumont Kin — says there was "so much stuff" not included in the film released to theaters.
"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," Monaghan previously told The Hollywood Reporter in January, after #ReleaseTheJJCut emerged as a trending topic on social media. "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!"
Some of that footage was cut for time, Monaghan said, and he's hopeful those scenes will be included for viewing on The Rise of Skywalker's home release.
"I think this is probably more of a question for J.J. because Star Wars is such a geek fest, obsessive thing that you don't want to start revealing Easter eggs too soon. But, I remember texting J.J. at the end of certain days and saying, 'Oh my God, I can't wait to see that,'" Monaghan added. "It was just extraordinary to even just be involved in that scene, and unfortunately, with the time constraints, they didn't make it or they changed things around. So, I'm hoping that if and when the DVD comes out that maybe they'll add extras or they'll have deleted, additional scenes."
Editor Maryann Brandon previously denied the film's ending sequence was dramatically altered when fans circulated theories a returned Ben Solo (Adam Driver) was originally intended to survive the film.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is available to own in March.