Ever since The Rise of Skywalker was released in December there has been a lot of talk about behind the scenes fallings out between J.J. Abrams and the top brass at Disney. The speculation has led to fans recently trending #ReleaseTheAbramsCut on Twitter.
We’ve talked a little on some of the rumored items that are supposed to be in the Abrams cut but, in this piece, we thought we’d explore a couple in more detail, as well as explore what happened to Matt Smith appearing in the movie.
George Lucas working on the story
Many were surprised not to see series creator George Lucas at the premiere of The Rise of Skywalker. Based on rumors, originally Abrams sat down with George and discussed how to end the Skywalker Saga.
Here’s the snippet from Reddit:
JJ went to George to ask for his help with coming up with a story for Episode IX since all of JJ’s plot threads and ideas he had from The Force Awakens were all but destroyed in The Last Jedi. Let’s call that the JJ/Lucas cut. Disney was not impressed with the JJ/Lucas cut and feared it could be another TLJ, they ordered to completely change it, that’s why the film had a ton of reshoots. The film in theatres now is the Iger cut which is Disney completely changing the initial film into what they thought would be the most profitable version of it.
Given Lucas was originally involved with setting the story for the finale, only for Disney to change it, it isn’t surprising for him to refuse to attend the finale of a franchise he built.
We covered the whole China issues and why Disney stepped in to remove scenes involving force ghosts and Finn, showing Finn as a force user, which you can read about here.
So where was Matt Smith?
Well, according to rumors, the J.J./Lucas story had Matt Smith as the main villain of the piece and while we don’t know exactly who he was set to play, there’s been a lot of speculation that it was going to be the Son of Mortis, a powerful force wielder who possesses a unique connection to The Force, chiefly, the Dark Side.
The Dagger of Mortis was also supposed to play a pivotal role in the movie, and while Palpatine was still in the movie, his role was minimal.
Given the look of Mortis based on how he appeared in The Clone Wars, casting Matt Smith in the role makes complete sense.
We’d fully suggest doing some further reading on Mortis over on Wookieepedia, it could have made a very interesting movie indeed! We’d also encourage you watch both The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels.
It would have been amazing to see Smith in this role as part of The Rise of Skywalker and would have really added something different into the franchise. The problem with this of course is, it doesn’t feel very mainstream and you can easily see that if rumors are true, why Disney changed the story.
What about J.J. Abrams?
According to many sources, Abrams is furious with how Disney stepped in and changed his vision for the movie and apparently it all started when his company, Bad Robot signed an exclusivity deal with WarnerMedia. Disney apparently wanted to purchase Bad Robot and was still sour when their plans didn’t go through and as a result, didn’t give Abrams the creative control of Rise of Skywalker that he wanted.
TJ has already mentioned in his previous post that Abrams didn’t want the Reylo kiss to happen. This goes further and apparently, he refused to even shoot it and Disney stepped in and shot it anyway.
There’s certainly a lot more than Reddit threads to suggest all of this is true, even the main cast have begun turning against Disney and siding with Abrams (even if he has remained largely silent on all of this).
If all of this is true, we’d find it hard to believe Abrams would want to make another movie for Disney anytime soon. Even with all of this in mind, Disney has made an incredible movie with The Rise of Skywalker, and while we can think about what could have been, the movie is still a fitting end to a franchise than started more than 40 years ago.