Even with Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi rapidly approaching, it’s hard not to look forward to Episode IX, which we expect will bookend the third trilogy in the epic space opera series. Currently scheduled for release in May 2019, the finale should wrap up the stories of Finn, Rey, Kylo Ren, and the rest of the lead characters introduced in 2015’s Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
It looks as if things are not going quite as swimmingly behind the scenes as we might have hoped, though. On Tuesday, Lucasfilm dropped a bombshell announcement via the official Star Wars website: Colin Trevorrow, who signed on in 2015 as director for Episode IX, has dropped out due to irreconcilable disagreements over creative control.
Trevorrow, recipient of critical acclaim for quirky 2012 indie comedy Safety Not Guaranteed, apparently did not share the same “vision” as Lucasfilm for the blockbuster film. After Jurassic World released in 2015 to mixed reviews, Trevorrow next directed The Book of Henry, which was widely panned.
It is unclear what direction Lucasfilm will decide to go regarding a replacement, but the departure could certainly spell anxiety for fans of the series; this is the third Star Wars movie that has recently seen major changes made due to directorial issues. Rogue One underwent significant reshoots in 2015 after Disney and Lucasfilm brass disagreed with Gareth Edwards’ tonal direction, and the team of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller was pulled from the forthcoming Han Solo origin story before being replaced with veteran filmmaker Ron Howard.
A trend seems to be emerging; one of Disney hiring up-and-coming directors before deciding they are not a good fit and subsequently snatching creative control. We doubt there is any shortage of auteurs lining up to get a crack at a Star Wars film, but for those hoping to see their favorite directors put their own spin on the franchise, well … don’t hold your breath.
We don’t know much of anything about the story of Episode IX — we still barely know any concrete details about Episode VIII. We do know that Carrie Fisher’s Leia will appear in the film, despite the actress’ death in 2016.