There’s something interesting to note in John Boyega’s recent interview with GQ magazine where he called out the sidelining of Finn in the Sequel Trilogy. While John Boyega is clearly upset (and rightly so) with how his character was treated in the trilogy he appears to cast no blame at J.J. Abrams despite the fact that Abrams directed and co-wrote The Rise of Skywalker which is arguably just as guilty of sidelining Finn as The Last Jedi. Yet in that interview when discussing J.J. Abrams John Boyega said the following:
“Everybody needs to leave my boy alone. He (J.J. Abrams) wasn’t even supposed to come back and try to save your [expletive]”
If John Boyega is upset that his character was sidelined why is he in the same breath defending the man who would appear to bear significant responsibility for that sidelining?
A quote for John Williams in an interview he gave with KUSC radio gives a potential answer:
“The process went along for about six or seven months for me where we’d write a scene that [JJ Abrams] had given me and then I’d complete the scene, possibly even record it, and he’d say “well that scene is not in the film any more. We’ve done something else. We need to replace it.”
What’s he talking about here?
John Williams stated in the interview with the Times that as of May 10, 2019 he had already written 25 minutes worth of music. A film’s score needs to precisely line up with what is on screen. Its a waste of the composer’s time for them to start writing the score if the director still intends to make significant alterations to the cut. The fact that J.J. Abrams gave a cut of the film to John Williams at some point prior to May 10th suggests that J.J was pleased with that cut of the film and felt that all it needed to become a complete film was the score, finalized visual effects, sound effects, etc.
However, throughout the Summer of 2019 and into the fall it was widely reported that The Rise of Skywalker was undergoing significant reshoots. So while John Williams was hard at work on the score new scenes were being filmed and according to Williams some of those scenes not only altered existing scenes but replaced them all together.
Now consider what John Bogeya said happened when he first read the script for The Rise of Skywalker:
“I was excited when I read the script. I actually read it, and I stopped, and then I went and had a conversation with JJ. I was like, “thank you, man. I’ve been- I’ve been waiting for this.”
Given that John Boyega was extremely thankful for what J.J. Abrams wrote, but now is rightfully upset that Finn was sidelined and given that John Williams has said that scenes from the reshoots replaced scenes that were in the early cut there’s only one conclusion: The early cut of the film that J.J. Abrams first gave to John Williams contained a much better arc for Finn. Lucasfilm forced J.J. Abrams to remove it.