To say that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker divided fans would be a bit of an understatement. In fact, the last two Star Wars movies have been divisive but that's a different article. There were a lot of people that weren't happy with the way everything wrapped up. Some began to latch onto the idea that director J.J. Abrams was forced by Lucasfilm or Disney to remove scenes. Greg Grunberg was in the seventh and ninth Star Wars movies as Snap Wexley and is a longtime friend of director J.J. Abrams. If there was anyone who could confirm or deny a cut of the movie, aside from Abrams himself, it would be Grunberg. The Hollywood Reporter recently spoke to him and asked him about the cut.
"Yeah, I never understood that. I talked to J.J. as friends throughout the entire process. 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. 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. 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."
Grunberg was also asked about the idea that there was conflict between Abrams and Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson. Grunberg insisted that he heard nothing negative about Johnson from Abrams and that this conflict is people making things up.
"Yeah, I was shocked. This is part of Star Wars, which is finding conflict. People are going to make things up. I never heard one disparaging thing from J.J. about Rian. Rian is a brilliant storyteller and filmmaker. It's one of those things where if you pay attention to the film and engage with it, all it does is keep that story going. But, I'm glad you're asking me because I would absolutely tell you if there were moments here and there. And there weren't. There just absolutely weren't. If anybody was going to try and dig that out of J.J., it'd be me. I wanted to work with Rian so badly, and it just didn't happen. So, I would be looking for any reason to go, "Oh yeah, well," but J.J. loves that guy. He loves how creative and how brilliant he is."
This isn't going to convince the diehard people that a "J.J. cut" doesn't exist or that there isn't tension between Abrams and Johnson but it is nice to hear it from someone who was on the ground. As always Star Wars continues to be a divisive fandom and people won't stop yelling about The Rise of Skywalker anymore than they will stop yelling about the prequels or ewoks. Maybe don't tag people in your hate though. That would be a good step forward for this fandom.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, directed by J.J. Abrams, stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant, Keri Russell, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, and Billy Dee Williams. It is available on digital now.