It’s well-known that Greg Grunberg – Snap Wexley in the sequel trilogy – and J.J. Abrams are long time friends, but regardless of that, Grunberg vociferously goes to bat for Abrams and The Rise of Skywalker, defending it in the face of criticism as it wings its way towards home video.
“When the movie came out, I was so pissed off and angry about one specific criticism that I heard. It said, ‘Oh, he’s just pandering to the fans. It’s like, ‘What are you talking about? A movie like this is all about satisfying the fans.'”
“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,. Personally, I don’t think there’s any truth to that, and I would be surprised if there’s a ‘J.J. cut.’ Every movie goes through a series of cuts; it’s just the nature of it. I don’t buy into it at all.”
Rumours swirled that Rise was a very direct left-turn from The Last Jedi, and a criticism of the work undertaken by Rian Johnson and his team, something Grunberg strongly denied.
“I never heard one disparaging thing from J.J. about Rian. It’s one of those things where if you pay attention to the film and engage with it, all it does is keep that story going. … I would absolutely tell you if there were moments here and there. And there weren’t. There just absolutely weren’t. If anybody was going to try and dig that out of J.J., it’d be me. I wanted to work with Rian so badly, and it just didn’t happen. So, I would be looking for any reason to go, ‘Oh yeah, well,’ but J.J. loves that guy. He loves how creative and how brilliant he is.”
Of course, Snap wasn’t present in The Last Jedi.
When Episode VIII was announced and I did not get a call, I checked with J.J. and was like, “I know you’re not a part of this, but can you check since I haven’t gotten a call?” It wasn’t just me; Jessica Henwick and all these other pilots were saying, “Are we going? Did you hear anything? What’s going on?” Rian just had made a conscious decision not to bring back these other characters, and I was really bummed about that. As a fan, one of the things that I love is seeing those smaller roles — even if they’re just passing by in a scene. I think it’s wonderful. I know J.J. checked with Kathy (Kennedy) and with Rian; it was just a creative decision that they made. I loved Episode VIII; I thought it was great. So, that was the saving grace for me even though I was disappointed. But, whatever, I was working on other stuff.
For the full interview, click here.