It has been revealed how the writing credits for ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ will be divided up. Ultimately, this should make no difference to a fan watching the movie, but it pertains to who gets credit for what by the Writers Guild of America, and may offer an idea of what went on behind the scenes, which may actually give an idea of what to expect. The one major reveal is that Colin Trevorrow, who was originally supposed to direct this third modern ‘Star Wars’ movie, gets a credit, meaning that enough of the ideas that he put into the story were kept after J.J. Abrams came aboard to take over.
This is what the credits will look like:
Screenplay by Chris Terrio & J. J. Abrams
Based on Characters Created by George Lucas
Story by Derek Connolly & Colin Trevorrow and Chris Terrio & J. J. Abrams
The ampersand (“&”) indicates that the two individuals worked together on the project, while “and” means that they contributed separately. So Abrams co-wrote the screenplay with Chris Terrio and they both developed the story together, after Trevorrow and Derek Connolly had previously worked on the story together.
Trevorrow was attached to direct ‘Episode IX’ after the rousing success of his ‘Jurassic World’ (2015), but was fired in September 2017, which the helmer attributed to the fact that his follow-up film, ‘Book of Henry’ (2017) was a box office flop. He and Connolly co-wrote ‘Jurassic World’, ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ (which was directed by J.A. Bayona), the upcoming third ‘Jurassic World’, and are reportedly working on the screenplay, ‘Intelligent Life’, a sci-fi rom-com.
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This follows an interview that Abrams gave in April to Fast Company, in which he stated that he was starting over with “no script,” indicating that he wasn’t using anything that Trevorrow had cooked up prior to the shake-up.
“You’ve got two years from the decision to do it to release, and you have literally nothing . . . . You don’t have the story, you don’t have the cast, you don’t have the designers, the sets. There was a crew, and there were things that will be worked on for the version that preceded ours, but this was starting over. And because this was such a mega job, I knew at the very least I needed a cowriter to work on this thing, but I didn’t know who that co-writer would be. There was nothing. So the first thing I did was reach out to a writer who I’ve admired for years, Chris Terrio. who I didn’t really know, to say, “Listen, would you want to write Star Wars with me?” And he screamed.”
But based on this WGA determination, Abrams kept enough of Trevorrow & Connolly’s work that they are receiving credit for it.
‘The Rise of Skywalker’ marks the first time that Abrams has collaborated on a screenplay with Terrio, whose former credits include ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’ and ‘Justice League’. (Yikes!)
‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ opens on December 20.