One of the great things about being a Star Wars X-Wing pilot is that you get to shoot stuff down. And one of the great things about being a lifelong friend of J.J. Abrams is that you probably get to know what The Rise of Skywalker’s writer/director is really thinking. Put those traits together in one person, and you get Greg Grunberg.
To the potential dismay of Star Wars fans holding out hope for an extended, director’s cut version of the final movie in the Skywalker saga, Grunberg recently shared with The Hollywood Reporter that it’s highly unlikely Abrams has a longer, fuller version of the movie up his sleeve. Perhaps this means we won’t be seeing #ReleaseTheJJCut trending on Twitter again anytime soon.
“I talked to J.J. as friends throughout the entire process,” said Grunberg, who played pilot Snap Wexley in both TROS and The Force Awakens. “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.”
Grunberg, who joked that he’s still steamed that Abrams decided to kill off Wexley in The Rise of Skywalker, has been friends with the Hollywood heavy since the two were kids, leading to repeat acting turns in Abrams-connected projects including Felicity, Alias, Super 8, and Mission: Impossible III. With such up-close access to Abrams, Grunberg said he’s simply seen no evidence to support the director’s cut theory.
“Personally, I don't think there's any truth to that, and I would be surprised if there's a ‘J.J. cut,’” he said. “Every movie goes through a series of cuts; it's just the nature of it. I don't buy into it at all.”
There’s been plenty of chatter over how much ground The Rise of Skywalker covered, as well as some of the sacrifices the movie made to ensure everything would fit in a single film. Abrams' co-writer, Chris Terrio, admitted earlier this year that he would have loved to split the movie in two, since “there was so much backstory that had to be left by the wayside.”
If the only cut fans ever get is the movie that appeared in theaters, at least they’ll have plenty of bonus material to fill out all the gray areas. The Rise of Skywalker’s home release comes loaded with extras, including The Skywalker Legacy — a feature-length documentary that takes a deep dive behind the scenes. It’s included in the currently available digital release of the movie, as well as in the upcoming Blu-ray and DVD package, so there’s no better time to hop in the cockpit for Snap Wexley’s — and the Skywalker saga's — last ride.