Star Wars: Episode IX: Colin Trevorrow is out as director, is Rian Johnson in?

Colin Trevorrow is out of Star Wars Episode IX, so what next?

There’s another reshuffle behind the scenes of the Star Wars universe today, as it has been announced that Colin Trevorrow will no longer be directing the as-yet-untitled Star Wars: Episode IX.

A statement on the Star Wars official site read: “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.”

This move comes shortly after the announcement that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller had been fired from the Han Solo movie, at which point they were replaced by Ron Howard. It seems reasonable to assume that Lucasfilm head honcho Kathleen Kennedy is eager to avoid a similar tricky situation mid-shoot. But why did Trevorrow part ways?

THR suggests that the issue has been with the script. Jack Thorne, aka the busiest writer working in the genre, was recently brought on to deliver a major rewrite of the screenplay, and the site states their sources say that “script issues have continued to be a sore spot throughout Episode IX’s development, with Trevorrow having repeated stabs at multiple drafts.”

Additionally, their sources claim that “the working relationship between Trevorrow and Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy became unmanageable.” It certainly makes sense to get this situation taken care of ahead of the shoot, but it’s not a good look for the saga, which has had a run of form with hiring directors and either firing them, like Josh Trank, or bringing in another filmmaker to tidy up, as they did with Gareth Edwards and Tony Gilroy on Rogue One.

So the question is now: who will step in? Deadline certainly seems to think that The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is high on Lucasfilm’s list after he “fit seamlessly into the Lucasfilm machine.” According to their insiders, “nothing is done yet, but that prospect is certainly in the air right now.” The combination of continuity and an established working relationship must seem very appealing to the studio, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Star Wars: Episode IX will be released on 24 May 2019. Keep up with the latest genre news with the new issue of SciFiNow.