There is no lack for opinions on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which brought the entire Skywalker Saga to a close when it was released at the end of 2019. One of the major criticisms lobbied against the film is that it felt too rushed, too muddled, and half-baked. And there’s probably a good reason for that: director and co-writer J.J. Abrams was working on a significantly abbreviated schedule because he wasn’t the original director and screenwriter onboard. Colin Trevorrow was.
Indeed, the Jurassic World filmmaker was announced as the writer and director of Star Wars 9 back in August 2015, and he worked on developing the film – including writing multiple drafts of the script – until he departed over creative differences in September 2017. Abrams was very quickly announced as his replacement, and while Trevorrow and Derek Connelly share a “story by” credit on the finished movie, we now know that Abrams and Rise of Skywalker co-writer Chris Terrio took the film in a very different direction.
While we can only imagine what Trevorrow’s version of Episode IX (called Duel of the Fates) would have looked like, a few vestiges of his designs remain – including one that he showed off during Collider’s “Directors on Directing” panel for Comic-Con@Home (watch the panel here). During a conversation with fellow filmmakers Robert Rodriguez and Joseph Kosinski, moderated by Collider’s own Steve Weintraub, Trevorrow showed off a 3D model for a Star Wars 9 ship he designed with his son called a TIE Marauder:
“So this is one of the – my son and I designed a ship, I have two ships. One of them is at the theme park at Disneyland. This is the other one, and it only exists in this 3D model. It’s called a TIE Marauder, and for Christmas the guys painted it for me – I only had this in a 3D model. Now this is the only one in the world, and it’s an amazing memory for me when I got to do something that was an incredible experience from start to finish that I was able to make a Star Wars ship with my son.”
As Trevorrow says, there’s another ship he designed that was built and placed in the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge theme parks in Disneyland (read all about it here) and Walt Disney World, but this is the first time we’ve gotten a look at the TIE Marauder – and it’s a pretty nifty design.
The filmmaker acknowledged that until Star Wars, he’d been pretty fortunate in his career to see eye-to-eye with the producers and studio on his previous films like Safety Not Guaranteed, Jurassic World, and The Book of Henry:
“We were [in] art and writing [when I left Star Wars], it was a development thing. It was script development. I guess the lesson from it is – I’ve been very fortunate in the films that I’ve directed, the path that I wanted to follow and the path that everyone involved wanted to follow was the same. It’s totally possible for two people to see two totally different paths through the woods. That was just an experience that obviously you can imagine, it can get to the point of being traumatic when there’s something that you care about that much and you’ve invested that much in it. But that’s one of the things that you accept when you take on any role in film, especially when you become a storyteller, that there are gonna be heartbreaks. There’s gonna be crushing disappointments and then there’s gonna be victories and hopefully they’ll balance out in the end.”
Trevorrow rebounded just fine, as he’s currently in production on Jurassic World: Dominion which he co-wrote and which puts him back in the director’s chair on the Jurassic franchise.
For more from our Comic-Con@Home panel with Trevorrow, Rodriguez and Kosinski, click here.