Why Star Wars 9's Original Director Was Fired

JJ Abrams wasn't the first choice to replace Colin Trevorrow on Star Wars 9.


When it was announced that Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow would no longer helm Star Wars: Episode IX, LucasFilm said the parting was due to creative differences. Mere days later, it was revealed that Star Wars: The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams would return for the film.

Now, with Solo: A Star Wars Story heading to theaters, some information about the events leading to Trevorrow's dismissal has been revealed. According to the Wall Street Journal, at the heart of the matter was the scripts being turned in to Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy.

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While Trevorrow was hired based on his pitch to Kennedy, Disney president Alan Horn and Disney CEO Bob Iger, the scripts simply weren't up to snuff. The WSJ reports that Kennedy was unhappy with the drafts Trevorrow co-wrote, as well as one from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child playwright Jack Thorne. While Trevorrow was keen to try again, Kennedy opted to fire him instead.

From there, the search was on for a new director. While Abrams ended up with the role, he wasn't necessarily the first person Lucasfilm went to. Also on their list was Rian Johnson, who was fresh off of directing Star Wars: The Last Jedi--and who will tackle his own trilogy of Star Wars films after Episode IX. According to Johnson, though, any discussions about his helming the film were not serious.

In the end, Abrams took the job, which brings him full circle in the Star Wars universe. After launching a new trilogy, he'll now bring it to a close. "I had a bunch of ideas from the beginning, back on VII, of where the story would go," he tells the WSJ. "I just never in my wildest dreams thought I would have a chance to execute them."

Of course, fans are going to have to wait a while to see how he executes those ideas. Star Wars: Episode IX is in theaters on December 20, 2019.

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