Home Entertainment Director Colin Trevorrow has exited Star Wars: Episode IX

Director Colin Trevorrow has exited Star Wars: Episode IX

4 min read

All is not well in Star Wars land. Just a few months after an eleventh-hour director swap from Phil Lord and Chris Miller to Ron Howard on the Han Solo film, another Star Wars production is going through a late leadership crisis. And it’s the big one! In a very brief statement on StarWars.com, Lucasfilm and Disney have revealed that Colin Trevorrow will no longer be directing the still untitled Star Wars: Episode IX due to those pesky old creative differences.

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.

That is all the info the studio is offering at this time, leaving many pundits pondering what is happening with Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy and co. To be fair, Trevorrow exiting this project is not that big of a shock to some though. The director jumped straight from low-key indie movie Safety Not Guaranteed into the big time with Jurassic World. While that film went on to shatter several box office records, there were some concerns about Trevorrow’s directing and writing, most notably that he basically just did a poor man’s Steven Spielberg impersonation.

Him then immediately being handed the reins to Episode IX, the culmination of the modern Star Wars movies, already had some die-hard fans questioning Lucasfilm’s judgment. Things really came to a head earlier this year though, when Trevorrow’s The Book of Henry was released to terrible reviews and completely bombed at the box office. This even prompted an online petition to have Trevorrow removed from Star Wars for fears he was going to mess this one up. Well, that’s no longer a problem, I guess.

The new dilemma now though is who replaces Trevorrow? Lucasfilm is reportedly over the moon with the work writer/director Rian Johnson has done on the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi, so an easy fix would just be to ask him to hang around and take over the third film in the trilogy as well. He has been working closely with Trevorrow and his crew to ensure the two films’ stories link up well, and even has a co-writing credit on Episode IX. I can see few fans taking issue with Johnson as the new director, if that was the case.

There are few other possibilities though. There’s some that think Ron Howard might pull off a double play and save this production as well like he did Han Solo. Others want some of the filmmakers whose names have always been mentioned in Star Wars circles – like Joe Johnston – to get a go. A better option, in my opinion though, would be for Lucasfilm to look to a female director, something which Kennedy has previously stated to be a big goal but which the studio has yet to deliver on.

Now the immediate problem people are going to point out with a female director is the prestige level of Star Wars, and that there are very few female directors in Hollywood with the type of tentpole blockbuster experience that matches that. But that’s complete codswallop – would you like me to recap Trevorrow’s iffy credentials again? So maybe it’s time to give the likes of Lexi Alexander, Susanne Bier, or Michelle McLaren the big break they’ve seemingly been on the cusp of for ages?

If Lucasfilm were to go with experienced directors it narrows the field considerably, but there are still some very exciting choices though. Wonder Woman’s Patty Jenkins would be perfect, but she’s probably going to be returning for that film’s sequel despite her deal with Waner Bros. not being finalized yet. Oscar-nominee Ava DuVernay (Selma) should be wrapping up A Wrinkle in Time for Disney now which means she’s already in-house, she’s available and she has both the dramatic and big budget experience to tackle this. Plus she’s already been given the stamp of approval by Star Wars: The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams.

The big-ticket pick here would clearly be Oscar-winner Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty, Detroit) though, as she is easily the most recognized and respected potential pick. The problem though is that her film choices in the latter part of her career have been on the opposite end of the cinematic spectrum from things like Star Wars. That being said, this is the lady who gave us Point Break, Strange Days and K-19: The Widowmaker (which starred none other than Star Wars’ Harrison Ford) so she certainly has all the credentials for the job.

Either way, it’s likely to be a tumultuous few weeks/months until Disney and Lucasfilm tap a replacement. With Star Wars: Episode IX scheduled for a May 24, 2019 release, there’s definitely still time, but with the scope of this production, the sooner this happens the better. Oh and if Lucasfilm can stop losing filmmakers now, that would be great.

Last Updated: September 6, 2017


  1. Bring back George Lucas. His awesome plot twist will be that Snoke is Jar Jar’s son.
    Episode IX: Revenge of the Gungan!


  2. Admiral Chief

    September 6, 2017 at 08:24

    As long as they don’t get a female director for the sake of getting a “female director”

    Give us an epic “director” irrespective of the configuration of the jiggly bits


  3. Darren Denver Jeftha

    September 6, 2017 at 09:22

    Kathleen Kennedy is the problem here, maybe getting Kevin Feige in as head would be better here.


    • Kervyn Cloete

      September 6, 2017 at 09:58

      There does seem to be a clash of personalities here far too often. The flip side of this though is that Kennedy isn’t the problem so much as she’s uncompromising in her vision.

      JJ Abrams and Rian Johnson have reportedly had an amazing time playing with Star Wars and everybody is happy with what they’ve done. On the other hand Phil Lord/Chris Miller reportedly wanted to colour outside the lines that Lucasfilm had put down far too frequently making Han Solo an improv comedy and that’s what got them axed. Similarly, Trevorrow’s script had reportedly been problematic for ages and Jack Thorne was brought in to try and fix it. Trevorrow’s shown a bit of blinded stubbornness in the past to some of the criticism to his work, so who’s to say it hasn’t happened here again and Kennedy wasn’t standing for it?

      Either way, despite the internal issues, the movies are all critical and commercial smashes, so Lucasfilm are not gonna change anything because the current leadership team is still delivering results.


      • Darren Denver Jeftha

        September 6, 2017 at 11:48

        I agree that they are universally loved, but do you want the birthing process to be painful every time? JJ had the least pressure after how bad the prequels were, and the Last Jedi looks epic so heaps of pressure on Colin now.

        I still think Lord & miller shouldve been allowed to do the Han Solo movie they wanted to do, was the point of the hire in the first place then, if it was bad it would be a blot on their record….the studio would still have made money. (It’s Star Wars, take my money).

        I doubt Jenkins would be interested, maybe someone like Yates. He did a great job with Harry Potter. Maybe even Ben Affleck, he looks like he will some free time soon.


        • BradeLunner

          September 6, 2017 at 23:21

          Can’t agree that jj had the least pressure, not from where I was..he needed to deliver to keep the hope alive that star wars wasn’t just bought by Disney


          • Darren Denver Jeftha

            September 6, 2017 at 23:49

            Do you know why I can make such a statement? He made a copy for a New Hope and world rejoiced.

          • BradeLunner

            September 7, 2017 at 17:28

            ok, can not argue with that, however, Daisy Ridley!

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