Star Wars boss Kathleen Kennedy opens up about director Colin Trevorrow’s exit

He is one of many directors to have publicly departed from the franchise

Colin Trevorrow

Kathleen Kennedy has spoken out about why the original director of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker left the project.

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Colin Trevorrow, best known for helming 2015’s Jurassic World and its upcoming sequel, was announced as director of the Episode 9 way back in August 2015, but abandoned the film in September 2017 as it prepared to start filming.

Ultimately, The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams returned to close the trilogy, with Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy explaining why, in an interview with iO9.

Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas
Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas attend the 40 Years of Star Wars panel during the 2017 Star Wars Celebration (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images for Disney)
Gerardo Mora/Getty Images for Disney

“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,” she said.

“Like any development process, it was only in the development that we’re looking at a first draft and realising that it was perhaps heading in a direction that many of us didn’t feel was really quite where we wanted it to go.”

In a since deleted tweet, The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson said that there was “no mapped story” when he joined the series after The Force Awakens.

Kennedy continued: “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.”

Trevorrow is one of many big names to have quit, or been ousted, from a Star Wars movie since Disney bought the franchise.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired as directors from Solo as it filmed.

And most recently, Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss parted company with Lucasfilm before producing a single feature, despite having initially been tapped for a trilogy of Star Wars movies.

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be in cinemas from 19th December 2019.