January 08, 2020
Beware! Spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker below.
Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker Viral Conspiracy Theory Gets The Kiss Of Death
Two weeks after the release of Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker comes the rise of the “JJ Cut”.
Recently, #ReleaseTheJJCut began trending on Twitter seemingly, in response to a viral Reddit post which suggested there is another version of the movie.
This phantom film, dubbed the “JJ Cut” after its director, JJ Abrams, is the answer to every Star Wars fan who was dissatisfied with the version of the film released in cinemas. But it’s also a version Disney doesn’t want you to see.
In the viral post from the subreddit r/saltierthancrait — which describes itself as “a community for those who are critical of the recent new Star Wars revival from Disney” — a Reddit user claims to have corresponded with an anonymous source from The Rise Of Skywalker production.This “source” — who offers no proof — tells the Reddit user a number of huge revelations: JJ Abrams didn’t approve of the final cut of the movie, he was against the Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) kissing scene and he wanted to have Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac) be together. Also, there was supposed to be a scene with Force ghosts surrounding Rey and another with Finn telling Rey that he’s Force-sensitive.
So why would Disney deliberately keep fans from seeing this magical, mythical version of Rise Of Skywalker? To ruin Abrams, of course!
The “source” claims Warner Bros. wants Abrams to jumpstart its DC superhero movies — a potential threat to Disney-owned Marvel’s dominance in the realm.
Therefore, to sour Warner Bros. on the director and “make JJ look bad to potential investors/shareholders,” Disney seemingly sabotaged its own movie like a gosh darn Sith supervillain.This level of calculated corporate self-destruction is thrilling — and also “fan fiction,” according to a number of established entertainment journalists with insider knowledge.
Unlike the “Snyder Cut”, an alternate, likely unfinished edit of the 2017 film Justice League that fans and even actors from the movie have driven into internet-legend status, it doesn’t look like the “JJ Cut” actually exists.This is the 3rd insider after @MakingStarWars and @PeterSciretta that have debunked this. And FYI Jason ward was the one who successfully leaked the whole movie. If he alone says it's fake then best not to get hyped up. https://t.co/EgsKe0D8m6— Wesley (@wesleywhite626) January 6, 2020Reporters such as /Film editor-in-chief Peter Sciretta and Collider editor-in-chief Steven Weintraub rubbished the existence of the “JJ Cut”, and our own interview with Rise Of Skywalker editor Maryann Brandon seems to back them up.
One of the points that stands out from the viral Reddit post is JJ Abrams’ supposed contempt for the Kylo and Rey kiss from the end of the film:JJ was against the Reylo kiss (or Reylo in general). This was Disney’s attempt to please both sides of the fandom.It’s apparently such a big point that the author of the post wrote a follow-up to back it up even more:JJ didn’t like the kiss but had to include something along those lines. They settled for what to show, but that doesn’t mean he liked it. He absolutely did not. However, despite how much the post claims JJ didn’t like it, when we talked with Brandon days after the premiere, it kind of sounded like he did.
The editor went into detail about why the kiss was included, saying there were many versions of “should they/shouldn’t they” but that tge director was supportive of the scene.
“I always said, ‘The movie will tell us whether they should kiss or not. We will know by the time we get to the end of our process, if it should happen.’” Brandon said. “And I felt it should, and [JJ Abrams] agreed with me, and other people who saw the film agreed.”
Another point in the viral post stated JJ wanted to have Finn and Poe together as a couple, which is something the fandom has been talking about since The Force Awakens in 2015. “JJ fought to make this happen,” the post read.
But again, when we asked Brandon about the idea, the longtime JJ Abrams collaborator said she’d never even heard about that possibility. To her, the characters were always just friends.
“I think, again, they’re best of friends,” she said. “There is a kind of brotherhood there where they understand each other, and they’ve got each other’s back.”
Finally, the Reddit post claimed the “JJ Cut” has Finn specifically telling Rey he’s Force-sensitive and includes a scene showing Finn using the Force.
If that’s true, Brandon didn’t appear to be aware of it. When we asked the editor what Finn tried to tell Rey — which is a joke that goes throughout the movie — she said she thought it was supposed to be left up to interpretation and didn’t seem to know herself.
“It’s one of those things I think is cool in the movie that’s up to interpretation, and I think that’s exactly what was meant by it,” she said. “I think what you want it to be is what it is. One person said, ‘Oh, he’s gonna tell her he’s in love with her,’ and I thought maybe he was, or, ‘He’s gonna tell her he understands the Force now and he believes in it.’ Maybe it’s that. I’ve never asked JJ or [writer Chris Terrio]. I just always took it as one of those humorous ... because it’s a joke, that keeps going through the film.”
There’s little doubt that Disney and Lucasfilm had a say in the story and that there were alternate scenes and a longer version of the film before it was edited down to the theatrical cut. But that’s no revelation. That’s just how movies are made.
Perhaps instead of there being a secret version of the film hidden away, there’s a simpler answer to why some fans are unhappy. As Brandon told us, some “things that certain people love, other people hated. And that’s the phenomenon of Star Wars.”READ MORE... Star Wars Writer Explains Why Kelly Marie Tran Lost So Much Screen Time in Rise Of Skywalker Star Wars' Oscar Isaac Blames 'Disney Overlords' For Lack Of Romance Between Poe And Finn Star Wars Director JJ Abrams Addresses Mixed Reaction To The Rise Of Skywalker
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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