Why ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Director J. J. Abrams Will Likely Never Work With Disney Again

Although critics believe that J. J. Abrams and Disney’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was subpar, the movie remains at the top of the box office. It currently is well over the $400 million mark in the U.S. and Canada and has a worldwide total of $853 million in sales. 

Audience reviews are infinitely better than the critic reviews, so why won’t the director of the film, J. J. Abrams, be working with Disney anytime soon?

J. J. Abrams
Director J. J. Abrams | Gary Mitchell / Echoes Wire / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Disney rushed J. J. Abrams into completing ‘The Rise of Skywalker’

The Rise of Skywalker crew had three months less to work on the new film than they did for The Force Awakens, according to editor Maryann Brandon’s estimates. Disney set the Dec. 20, 2019 release date and was steadfast that it could not change.

“We were definitely still trying to figure out a lot of stuff,” Brandon admitted on The Rough Cut podcast. “It’s a struggle. It affected everything. About a third of the way through, [Lucasfilm president] Kathy [Kennedy] was like, ‘J. J. [Abrams] has got to spend more time in the cutting room.’ And I knew that wasn’t going to happen. Not with the schedule that we were on. Not with what he was dealing with on a daily basis. He was just exhausted at the end of the day.”

Brandon previously worked with Abrams on the television series, Alias, as well as the movies Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens

With Disney’s refusal to change the date, the editor and director continued onward, doing the best they could. However, three months more of shooting, directing, and editing might have created an entirely different movie. From Brandon’s account, it is evident that the work environment created by Disney was not ideal.  

J. J. Abrams believes the ‘Star Wars’ Saga is complete

“I remember … seeing an interview with [George] Lucas, talking about he always envisioned it as a series of three three-act plays,” Abrams told The Post. “So, in my mind, I always felt like there was another trilogy. I never dreamed I’d be involved, but I always thought, ‘Oh, it goes on.’ ”

“We set out to make this movie the end of the Skywalker Saga,” Abrams continued. “There’s no backdoor-pilot, secret winking, ‘Let’s begin this other thing.’ This is very much meant to be a conclusion. So, what they do, what Disney chooses to do, what Kathy Kennedy chooses to do, you should ask them.”

Abrams makes it clear that he finds the Star Wars Saga complete and that he will not be working on any more Star Wars films with Disney.

Disney changed ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ so much that Abrams was blindsided

A source who would like to remain anonymous is releasing information about the difficulties that Disney put Abrams through during and after the production of The Rise of Skywalker

“The TROS we saw last night was not the TROS we thought we worked on,” the unnamed source, close to Abrams, reported through a Reddit post.

“J. J. [Abrams] was devastated and blindsided by this,” the source continued. “He’s been feeling down over the last six months because of some of the ridiculous demands Disney had that changed his movie’s story. While the scenes were shot, a lot of the changes were made in post-production, and the audio was rerecorded and altered.”

Although the Reddit user’s source is unnamed, the Redditor explains in a separate post how they know the person is credible.

“My source said they’ve never seen anything like this happen before,” wrote the Redditor who is keeping the source anonymous. “He’s the director, and he wasn’t in the know about what they were doing behind his back.”

On top of the rushed production, and Abrams’ feelings on Star Wars being complete, if this new information is also accurate, it is likely Abrams will never work with Disney again.