Earlier this week, Lucasfilm released a brief statement announcing a major development in the production of Episode IX: director Colin Trevorrow is no longer involved in the film.
Lucasfilm and Colin Trevorrow have mutually chosen to part ways on Star Wars: Episode IX. Colin has been a wonderful collaborator throughout the development process but we have all come to the conclusion that our visions for the project differ. We wish Colin the best and will be sharing more information about the film soon.
Within hours multiple publications, including The Hollywood Reporter, reported that several screenplay drafts had not resolved the differences between Trevorrow and Lucasfilm’s leadership. Yesterday Vulture added further details on the clash of personalities and storytelling vision that produced the split.
Serious concerns about whether Trevorrow was the right fit for the culmination of the Sequel Trilogy story have been expressed since his hire was first announced, and we discussed them in depth on Episode 30 of Hyperspace Theories. Although his most recent movie, The Book of Henry, was critically panned, the box office success of Jurassic World masked some of the serious flaws in that movie, as well. Remarks from Trevorrow in interviews and news reports did nothing to alleviate concerns about his arrogance, including unwillingness to acknowledge issues with misogyny and characterization in his work.
With Episode IX not only forming the crucial conclusion to the heroic journey for Rey, as it has all along, but also now faced with crafting an appropriate role for General Leia Organa in light of the tragic death of Carrie Fisher, it is incredibly important that Lucasfilm have the right individuals in place for the screenwriting, directing, and other story design and characterization roles in the movie. Fortunately, Kathleen Kennedy understands these stakes and is unwilling to expect anything less than the best from Star Wars creators.
As for the future of Episode IX, reports suggest pre-production has been ongoing with the intention that the movie begin principal photography shortly after the new year. With its release date scheduled for May 24, 2019, the timetable remains eminently workable to finalize the screenplay and proceed into filming with a new director. In the meantime, Deadline has reported that Rian Johnson is the top contender. With the complete lack of drama in the production process for Episode VIII and the considerable positive buzz already present for The Last Jedi, that choice wouldn’t be a surprise. Confirmation of Episode IX’s new screenwriter and/or director is no doubt part of the information promised in Lucasfilm’s statement.
- Hyperspace Theories Episode 30: Director’s Cut: The Trouble With Trevorrow
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Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.