New rumors flooding the internet suggest that early test screenings for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker were disastrous and Lucasfilm had to bring in George Lucas to help fix the movie.
The last entry in the Skywalker Saga not only promises to wrap up the Sequel Trilogy, but also bring the ancient conflict between the Jedi and the Sith to its definitive end. One would assume that’s a lot of threads to weave together in a single movie, and they’d be right. It would seem that fans have been worried for all the right reasons, as a new rumor claims that early test screenings were so disastrous that Disney CEO Bob Iger promptly asked director J.J. Abrams to redo much of the film and even asked George Lucas to come in and make some changes.
Of course, we’ll file this one strictly in the rumor cabinet for now since it comes from a YouTuber with a questionable track record, but according to them, the test screenings were made up of hardcore fans, casual fans, and general audience members who were simply aware of Star Wars. The first version, which the YouTuber calls the Abrams/Kennedy cut, had the lowest average score (29), mostly due to a lackluster third act.
Spoilers to follow from here on out…
It’s said that one huge problem was when Rey destroyed Emperor Palpatine and essentially owned him in an “OP fashion” during their last battle. At that point, everyone burst into laughter and this enraged Iger, who was also present during the screening. He then proceeded to order a redo of the movie which brings us to the second cut.
Apparently, Iger specifically asked Abrams to bring in Anakin and Luke “in the flesh” (we’re not entirely sure what that means) and the revised version from Disney’s boss received a better score (65) in the following test screening. But that wasn’t enough, and George Lucas was then brought in to make some amendments.
The rumor suggests that Lucas incorporated elements from both versions and edited the finale, introducing a secret Skywalker in the third act. This garnered a much more positive reaction and received the best score (88).
We don’t know who this secret Skywalker is just yet, but we do know that Disney spent a whopping $300 million after the ‘meltdown’ to save the movie and do everything that was necessary to make sure it doesn’t flop. And while we can never be certain about the many rumors that plague the production of a juggernaut film such as this one, we should note that sources close to WGTC – the same ones who told us about the Rey/Palpatine twist in the movie, which has since been confirmed – have said that the report is at least somewhat true.
They can’t verify all of the details provided by the YouTuber, but they do confirm that early test screenings didn’t go as well as Disney had hoped and that Lucas was indeed brought in at some point to help Abrams fix the movie. From what we understand, they succeeded and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is now testing much better. But I guess we’ll see for ourselves how things turned out when the film his theaters on December 20th.