Secret good cuts:
With Justice League, the BTS issues were well-known, obvious, and corroborated by the actors. The “JJ cut” idea is just a desperate attempt to apply that same concept to this movie, even though TROS didn’t bring in a second director for reshoots or anything similar.
Even then, the “Snyder cut” wasn’t some finished thing they left in the back room, it was a thing they agreed to create after a bunch of people yelled at them. The hashtag was “release the Snyder cut”, not “grab Snyder and have him recreate his vision for the movie that was never actually realized in the original”. The entire idea of a secret good version of a thing that turned out bad is a farce and totally ignores how even troubled productions of films play out. Plus, exactly like Justice League, a secret longer version of Rise of Skywalker would probably be still bad, because the biggest problems with bad media is usually never that there just isn’t enough of it. Even if you grabbed JJ and told him to make the movie again, would he make nearly the amount of changes the people here have? Nope, so the movie’s still not really very good.
I think that if anything is to be done with Finn’s force-sensitivity, it should be making it more overt. If this cut had more Adywan-style “shoot new footage of stuff”, I’d have him levitate something in his hands, maybe the Falcon’s dice, while talking to Jannah in their little scene. Rescoring, finagling a bit with the dialogue there and using his “a feeling” line from the Exegol battle could bring it to at least resembling a character moment, though you’d obviously then have to do something about that battle scene itself. This is only vague ideas that I’ve seen in dreams, but the real failure of the whole plotline is that the movie doesn’t sell the audience on it. I didn’t know what the fuck he was talking about when he said “I never told you” the first time and it wasn’t totally clear to me that the force was actually what was going on in the theater.
“We have to keep…” sounds too energetic from Leia in that moment. Maybe stretching out the exchange so it’s not so abrupt could help, but her tone isn’t right. Appending other words to it won’t help. Rey’s “No” is the same way. “That’s the important stuff” suffers similarly, but it sounds more like Leia is about to transition into “now we have to take care of this thing” which she never gets around to, and I want to know that that thing is. “Well” is just overall insubstantial. “There’s been a lot of that lately” is okay.
Getting rid of the nonsense time limit is good.