J. J. Abrams was gonna direct Episode VII. Rian Johnson was gonna direct Episode VIII. And Colin Trevorrow was gonna direct Episode IX. That’s how the new, 2010s Star Wars trilogy was gonna work. And did… for two outta three of those folks. For Trevorrow abruptly left Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker during production, leaving Abrams to return and direct the finale. Now, in an interview with Gizmodo, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has shared some more insight as to why she parted ways with Trevorrow.
When asked directly why things “didn’t work” with Trevorrow, Kennedy took a touch of umbrage with the phrase “didn’t work.”
Well, I wouldn’t say it didn’t work. Colin was at a huge disadvantage not having been a part of Force Awakens and in part of those early conversations because we had a general sense of where the story was going. Like any development process, it was only in the development that we’re looking at a first draft and realizing that it was perhaps heading in a direction that many of us didn’t feel was really quite where we wanted it to go. And we were on a schedule, as we often are with these movies, and had to make a tough decision as to whether or not we thought we could get there in the time or not. And as I said, Colin was at a disadvantage because he hadn’t been immersed in everything that we all had starting out with Episode VII.
These movies really do have an immovable schedule, and it sounds like the issues with Trevorrow’s take on the story couldn’t be resolved in time for Kennedy’s desired schedule. It is interesting that Kennedy makes mention of Trevorrow’s “disadvantage” at not being “immersed” starting with Episode VII, as Johnson wasn’t either, and he wasn’t fired before completing The Last Jedi.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens in theatres December 20. For more on the conclusion to the Skywalker saga, here’s a look at some BTS featurettes with the cast. Plus, some surprise writing credits in the final cut. And finally, Los Angeles readers: Here’s how you can see the thing for free.