A recent report that somehow slipped under the radar suggests that Colin Trevorrow was relieved of his duties to direct Star Wars Episode IX months before it was officially announced.
Scott Wampler of Birth. Movies. Death. fame mentioned that he had inside knowledge that Colin Trevorrow wasn’t going to direct the sequel trilogy’s final chapter a whole two months before the news became official:
Here’s a fun example: this is me about 5 minutes after hearing that Trevorrow was gonna get the boot on STAR WARS, a few months before that was official. Tried like crazy to find a second person who’d say the same, couldn’t, didn’t do anything with it. https://t.co/3rU2JFvSmF
— Scott Wampler™ (@ScottWamplerBMD) April 19, 2018
Wampler ultimately chose not to break this story because he didn’t have a second source back up his claim, so he merely teased it in late June. But looking closer at the timeline of events indicate that there’s more to the story than just hearsay.
Take, for instance, a comment made less than a week later, from Trevorrow himself. Speaking to Empire on their podcast, he indicated that he was less enthusiastic to work on a Star Wars movie knowing that it was to be a difficult job as opposed to something he could truly enjoy:
“Unfortunately, Rian’s film is the first one I won’t be able to watch as an audience member. I got that privilege with The Force Awakens. I just got to go see it with a Star Wars fan. I got to sit next to my kid and just giggle as we read the crawl because we were so excited. Rogue One was the same way. I didn’t see it in advance. That time is over now. Star Wars is no longer that experience for me. If there’s anything kind of sad about it, it’s that I don’t get to have that.”
Even before this, he made note of how exhausting it was for him to work on Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Star Wars Episode IX at the same time all the way back in April of last year. Perhaps the signs were there that he wasn’t completely happy with how things were going (at least in part because his film’s script had to be completely overhauled due to Carrie Fisher’s death), or perhaps this is just an understandable side effect of working on two major tentpoles at the same time without the experience of someone like Steven Spielberg.
Given that Lucasfilm hired Jack Thorne to revise the script late into the game (about a month before Trevorrow was fired and the script was discarded), it seems as though it’s more likely that Lucasfilm just weren’t satisfied with what Trevorrow had been giving them, and that he was probably becoming less enthusiastic to work on the project as a result. Reports from various insiders all indicated that a big problem with his version of the movie boiled down to script issues and an increasingly-unpleasant relationship between the then-director, the crew, and the movie’s executives.
In any case, Trevorrow seems happy enough to return to the Jurassic World franchise, and it might just be that he’s a better fit to work on that than he is Star Wars. The franchise is a massive undertaking and not every director is cut out to work on it. Regardless of whatever happened, we wish Trevorrow the best of luck on his future endeavors.