In a new interview, director J.J. Abrams’ longtime film editor Maryann Brandon paints an unfortunate picture of just how rushed things were behind-the-scenes for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, adding more weight to complaints from critics who feel like the film botched the finale of one of the most storied pop culture franchises of all time.
The movie’s unmoveable December 20 release date, Brandon told IndieWire, made production so challenged and the schedule consequently so tight that editing had to actually be done on-set. That’s in spite of Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy insisting that “J.J. 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.” Comments that will no doubt confirm the bias of critics — but which, as we noted above, don’t account for the fact that the conclusion to the Skywalker saga is nevertheless raking in the dough at the box office.
The film’s performance is still behind that of its two predecessors — The Last Jedi and The Force Awakens — and about two weeks after its release, here’s where things stand. The latest movie has earned $407.5 million domestically so far, per Variety, and an additional $407.9 million internationally. That puts the movie’s current total global box office sales at $815.4 million, a total that is expected to easily climb to at least $1 billion by the time the movie’s initial run is complete.
Brandon’s interview, however, goes on to note that the crew behind The Rise of Skywalker had three months less to work on the movie than did the crew for The Force Awakens. She goes on to acknowledge that complaints about the film doing more fan service than advancing the franchise aren’t entirely off-base, adding that: “In a time when the whole world is polarized, it should not be a film that is polarizing. Basically, the message of the film is, ‘Hey you know what? You can be bad and good can come into your life. And maybe if you’re open-minded to it, extraordinary things can change your mind.”