Former Star Wars: Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow has finally spoken out about his time working on the film, saying he will always "cherish" the experience. After making a splash with his acclaimed debut on the 2012 indie film Safety Not Guaranteed, Trevorrow caught the eye of Steven Spielberg and was ultimately hired to revive the Jurassic Park series with 2015's Jurassic World. Shortly after that movie became a runaway box office smash hit, the filmmaker was hired by Disney and Lucasfilm to call the shots on Episode IX and bring the third Star Wars trilogy to a satisfying conclusion.
Things first began to veer off-course for Trevorrow's Episode IX in late 2016, when Carrie Fisher's tragic passing forced the director and Lucasfilm to revise their plans for the film. Trevorrow's drama The Book of Henry then became a critical and commercial failure when it hit theaters some six months later, further raising doubts about whether Trevorrow was the right man for Episode IX, especially among those who weren't exactly blown away by his efforts on Jurassic World. Trevorrow eventually stepped down as Episode IX's director in September 2017 and was replaced by The Force Awakens helmsman J.J. Abrams not long thereafter.
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While rumors have since emerged about why exactly Trevorrow stepped down from Episode IX, the filmmaker himself has remained silent on the subject until now. During an interview with Empire to promote the sequel Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (which Trevorrow cowrote and produced, but did not direct), the former Episode IX helmsman reflected fondly, if somewhat vaguely, on his experience making the movie:
“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.”
Differing reports about Trevorrow's time on Episode IX have emerged over the past year; some allege that the filmmaker was difficult to work with and unreceptive to feedback from Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, while others say that both Trevorrow and Kennedy were unhappy with how Episode IX's screenplay was shaping up, under Trevorrow and writer Jack Thorne's watch. The situation certainly wasn't alleviated by Book of Henry's poor turnout, and it's further believed that Lucasfilm may have parted ways with Trevorrow when they did to avoid repeating the mistakes they made with Solo: A Star Wars Story (where original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were infamously let go mid-production).
Abrams may be the "safe" choice to direct Episode IX, but after the Solo kerfuffle and whatever happened with Trevorrow on Episode IX, he brings some welcome stability to the Star Wars franchise with his return. It also appears to have been a useful experience for Disney and Lucasfilm, which seem to be applying the lessons learned from these missteps to their approach to the Star Wars brand moving forward. Everything appears to have worked out for Trevorrow too; his departure from Episode IX has freed him up to bring his own blockbuster trilogy to a close by directing 2021's Jurassic World 3 instead.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019