Fans of any franchise have a tendency to get carried away with ideas on social media and are capable of concocting controversy where none really exist, which includes some Star Wars fans demanding that Lucasfilm "#ReleaseTheJJCut" of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, a movement which actor Greg Grunberg admits he can't understand. Having collaborated with Abrams since they were kids, the actor confirmed that he was in talks with the director throughout the entire process of developing the film and Abrams was always encouraged to pursue whatever storytelling paths he desired, even if some fans think he was forced to adhere to stipulations enforced by Lucasfilm.
"I never understood that. I talked to J.J. as friends throughout the entire process," Grunberg shared with The Hollywood Reporter in reference to the social media campaigns. "Every night, I'd be like, 'How's it going?' Every time, he was so positive. I'm being completely honest here, but not once did he ever tell me that there was any pressure on him to cut things out. It's part of the creative process, obviously. [Lucasfilm president] Kathy Kennedy is brilliant; the people at Disney are brilliant. They give notes, but ultimately, it's up to J.J., the director, who they really trust."
He added, "Personally, I don't think there's any truth to that, and I would be surprised if there's a 'J.J. cut.' Every movie goes through a series of cuts; it's just the nature of it. You see what works, what you need more of and where you need clarity. So, I think that's all a part of the creative process. I don't buy into it at all."
The campaign stems from the vocal DC Comics fans who have been demanding the release of director Zack Snyder's cut of Justice League, as the theatrical release featured reshoots from Joss Whedon. Snyder's original concept for that film involved a two-film narrative, before it was cut down to one film and before he stepped away from the production due to a family tragedy. In the years since, fans have been uniting under the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut hashtag.
No matter what the topic might be, the social media users who post the most often and most passionately tend to drown out any other opinions. After The Rise of Skywalker hit theaters, various members of the cast and crew detailed sequences they were involved in that were cut from the film, igniting speculation that Abrams was forced by the studio to cut certain things and highlight others. Fans who were most interested in this mythical cut typically overpower the opinions of those who thought positively of the theatrically released film or have no opinion on the matter either way.
While there are absolutely alternative storylines and scenes that were cut either early or late in the process, Grunberg's comments seem to confirm that the film audiences saw in theaters followed through on Abrams' ideas.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is available now on Digital HD and hits 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD on March 31st.