The pre-release conversation surrounding ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ was understandably dominated by the mid-production firing of the film’s original co-directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and their subsequent replacement by Ron Howard. This marked a massive upheaval and paved the way for equally massive reshoots, ultimately culminating in the film we all saw this past weekend. But ‘Solo’ isn’t the only ‘Star Wars’ film to change directorial hands. ‘Episode IX’ is in the midst of just such a change even as we speak, though the film benefits from doing so long before filming begins (or, indeed, before the script has been finalized), rather than after months of shooting.
In the case of ‘Episode IX’, the film is being handed over to ‘The Force Awakens’ helmer J.J. Abrams following the dismissal of ‘Jurassic World’ director Colin Trevorrow. Trevorrow’s exit in September was accompanied by a statement from Lucasfilm that all involved had “mutually chosen to part ways.” More recently, however, reports surfaced that Trevorrow’s dismissal was owed as much to creative issues (neither he nor Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy was satisfied with any script draft produced during his time on the project) as to personal conflicts, with one source alleging that Trevorrow’s ego made him difficult to work with.
Now, Trevorrow himself has begun to comment on the subject publicly. In conversation with Empire (appropriately enough), he opened up for the first time about his departure from the climactic installment of the latest ‘Star Wars’ trilogy. Though he shies away from the gory details, he was more than willing to share his feelings on the matter.
“I don’t want to talk too much about it because I don’t want to affect the way that fans get to see these films. When we were kids, these movies came to us from far away. They were a gift. And the more we talk about how they’re made, the more it reveals that they’re just movies. But they’re not just movies, they’re more than that. Beyond that, I got the opportunity to tell a story that is a celebration of everything I believe in, I got to tell it to George Lucas and I got to tell it to Luke Skywalker, and those are experiences I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
So while Trevorrow is surely disappointed that he won’t be there to see ‘Episode IX’ through to completion, he appears to be focused on the positive side of the whole affair. The experiences gained rather than the opportunities lost.
Be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more on ‘Episode IX’ and other upcoming ‘Star Wars’ film and television projects as it becomes available.