Lucasfilm announced on Monday that Star Wars: Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow will no longer be working on the film due to creative differences.
They stated: “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.”
To those who have been following Lucasfilm’s recent activity, this is not anything new from the company. In 2015, Lucasfilm decided to drop Fantastic Four director Josh Trank from working on a stand-alone Star Wars film, and only last May they decided to fire both directors of the Han Solo prequel. All of these dismissals have been due to creative differences with the directors, so it seems more and more apparent that Lucasfilm have a concrete vision for the future of the Star Wars franchise that will not be challenged by anyone working on their movies.
Colin Trevorrow has been an up and coming director in Hollywood in recent years; he directed the reasonably successful Safety Not Guaranteed, which won several Indie awards in the US. He followed this with the blockbuster Jurassic World, a huge success worldwide. It would have be a decent assumption that Star Wars: Episode 9 was in safe hands with Trevorrow. After all, it is doubtful that lack of talent motivated his dismissal judging by his filmography. This again seems to stress the strict compliance demanded by Lucasfilm in working for them and demonstrates their willingness to get rid of anyone they are not satisfied with. It is not like they will be hard pressed to find someone else willing to be involved in one of the biggest franchises in cinematic history.
So what could this mean for the future of Episode 9? Naturally, the internet has been awash with speculation from fans. Many have discussed whether Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson will take the helm, or if J.J. Abram’s will resume his place in the director’s chair. Of course, all this discussion is just conjecture until we get another announcement from Lucasfilm.
The most interesting aspect of this whole saga is exactly what Lucasfilm’s ruthlessness means for the current trilogy of Star Wars films. Personally, I was pleased when it was announced that J.J. Abrams would not be directing any Star Wars films following The Force Awakens. This is not because Abrams is a poor director, but because part of what makes the original trilogy so great is that each movie had a different person behind the lens. Each film had a vastly different tone and atmosphere, making each one feel unique. However, Lucasfilm’s recent behaviour suggests that they want each movie to be consistent with their overall vision, which could threaten to limit each film’s individuality.
Still, at least they’re not bringing back George Lucas.
Star Wars: Episode IX is scheduled to be released in May 2019. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is being released December 2017 and is directed by Rian Johnson.