Earlier this year, there was a bit of mild panic as the people behind Lucasfilm very suddenly, and very publicly, removed Phil Lord and Chris Miller from the Han Solo movie, replacing them a few weeks later with Ron Howard. At the time, it was a shocking thing – you would think that Lucasfilm would have known what they were getting in hiring directors with such a distinct style as Lord and Miller. This, of course, followed the firing of Josh Trank from the never-confirmed-Boba-Fett-movie after rumors arose of his behavior on the set of Fantastic Four. Still, Howard was a solid choice, and all seemed quiet on the Star Wars front for now. Everything else coming up was probably safe.
Well, not anymore. This afternoon, Lucasfilm announced that they were “parting ways” with Colin Trevorrow, the director of Jurassic World who had been deep in pre-production on Episode 9, the next film in the Rey/Finn/Kylo/Poe saga. No reasons were given, which is standard in these cases. Here’s their full statement:
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.
Rumors had dogged the process that Lucasfilm wasn’t happy with Trevorrow’s scripts up to this point, and certainly it’s important to stick the landing in this brand new trilogy. Still, it’s a bit odd how often this keeps happening to Lucasfilm. Certainly it seems to point to a studio that’s interfering too much with their movies – except that The Last Jedi seems to be on track to fulfill Rian Johnson’s vision for the franchise, and Johnson’s visions tend to be the most out there of any directors they’ve hired so far.
So what’s going on with Star Wars? What were Gareth Edwards, J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson able to do that three other directors were not? We’re at 50% of all new Star Wars directors fired here, and something odd is happening. If nothing else, I would expect we won’t get announcements of new Star Wars directors until they’re much farther into the process.