Star Wars Episode IX: Why Colin Trevorrow Was Replaced as Director

We finally know why Colin Trevorrow was replaced by J.J. Abrams as the director of Star Wars Episode IX.

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It’s been more than a year since Colin Trevorrow was replaced as the director of Star Wars Episode IX. While the director and Lucasfilm have remained quiet about the reason behind Trevorrow’s departure, a new report from the Wall Street Journal cites the quality of Trevorrow and co-writer Jack Thorne’s first draft of the script as the reason for the change. 

According to WSJ, both Trevorrow and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy were unhappy with the draft. Trevorrow asked for another shot at the script, but Kennedy declined, preferring to right the ship quickly with a Star Wars veteran instead of giving the Jurassic World director more time. 

If Kennedy and Trevorrow clashed at some point in the development of Episode IX, handing in a subpar script was probably the final nail in the coffin for the director. Previously, Kennedy also replaced Phil Lord and Chris Miller as the directors of Solo: A Star Wars Story due to creative differences. Kennedy reportedly didn’t like the directors’ improvisational directing style or the fact that they were making a version of the film with a more comedic tone.

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In the end, Kennedy chose big-name, experienced directors to helm these movies: Ron Howard for Solo and J.J. Abrams for Episode IX. Judging from the stories of Trevorrow and Lord and Miller, Kennedy is interested in hiring directors who can get with the program quickly and deliver the quality storytelling she expects of every new installment in the franchise.

While promoting Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Trevorrow spoke with Empire about leaving Star Wars behind. And it doesn’t sound as though he has too many regrets.

“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,” he said. “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.”

He added 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.” 

Star Wars Episode IX opens on Dec. 20.

John Saavedra is an associate editor at Den of Geek. Read more of his work here. Follow him on Twitter @johnsjr9