Colin Trevorrow’s pitch for Star Wars: Episode IX drew a very emotional response from star Daisy Ridley. Back in the summer of 2015, months before anyone saw The Force Awakens, Lucasfilm hired the Jurassic World helmsman to close out the sequel trilogy. Unfortunately, after two years on the job, things didn’t go according to plan. The studio parted ways with Trevorrow in September 2017, handing over the reigns to Episode VII director J.J. Abrams and co-writer Chris Terrio. The two are in the midst of penning the new script, with the hopes of starting production in June of this year.
Due to Lucasfilm’s secretive nature, not much was known about Trevorrow’s vision for Episode IX (besides General Leia Organa having a more substantial role), and it likely will be some time before other details come to light. But whatever the filmmaker had in mind sounded like it could have been very affecting, since his idea for Rey brought Ridley to tears when she heard where the story might be headed.
On an episode of Collider‘s Jedi Council podcast, Saturday Night Live star Bobby Moynihan shared a story about the time Ridley and Trevorrow met at an SNL after party. With the actress excited to learn what was in store for Rey, the two went into a corner of the room to have a private conversation, and Moynihan noted that Ridley started crying as Trevorrow spelled out his pitch. Obviously, Moynihan could not elaborate on specifics, but it’s an interesting tidbit that raises questions about Trevorrow’s Episode IX.
While Trevorrow’s take worked for Ridley, it apparently didn’t connect with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. Shortly before the director was let go, Wonder scribe Jack Thorne was brought in to give Star Wars 9 a rewrite, and then the studio went in a completely different direction. It stands reason to believe Abrams and Terrio started from scratch instead of trying to rework what was already there. This isn’t to say they won’t utilize some of Trevorrow’s concepts if they fit (like how the sequel trilogy adapted George Lucas’ ideas), but it’s just easier from a creative perspective to work with a clean canvas. Abrams recently made his pitch to Disney, and since all’s been relatively quiet since he took over, odds are the bosses are happy with his approach.
After the Solo behind-the-scenes debacle last summer, the last thing Lucasfilm needed was another public director breakup, but there’s no understating the importance of delivering a quality Episode IX. The film could very well be the final chapter of the iconic Skywalker saga (before Rian Johnson’s new trilogy becomes the main attraction), and after Last Jedi proved to be a divisive tentpole, the onus will be on Abrams to deliver a unanimous crowdpleaser to end things on a high note. If Kennedy had a bad feeling about where Trevorrow was going, she had no choice but to move on in the hopes of “fixing” Star Wars 9 before the cameras started rolling. And with Ridley crying happy years about Abrams’ return, odds are she’ll be pleased with the new story too.
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