Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow was originally slated to direct the final film in the Skywalker Saga, but eventually had to step away from Star Wars: Episode IX. The film has come and gone, but Trevorrow is talking about what went down that caused him to leave the project, something he called “traumatic.” The departure from The Rise of Skywalker was not as dramatic as other stories regarding directors leaving certain motion pictures, and it was rather amicable.
The director spoke with Collider recently to discuss everything from the newest Jurassic World feature, Dominion, as well as ships he originally designed for Star Wars that obviously never made it to screen. Trevorrow detailed the stage in which he left the movie back in 2017 and what lessons he took from it.
The Rise of Skywalker was still in the early stages, as Trevorrow remembered being in the art and writing portion. He revealed that the path he wanted to take the movie on was not the same as the path other higher-ups involved with the flick wanted to do.
Trevorrow and the decision makers at Lucasfilm and Disney had ideas that were too different for them to be able to work together in creating a cohesive movie, so he left the project.
“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.”
Eventually, the directing job went to J.J. Abrams, who also helmed The Force Awakens in 2015. Trevorrow’s sights turned quickly to his Jurassic World sequel, Fallen Kingdom, which landed in theaters in 2018. Despite not wooing audiences and critics as much as the original, Fallen Kingdom still did stellar at the box office, raking in just over $1.3 billion.
Trevorrow isn’t the only director who has had issues within the Star Wars franchise. Rian Johnson wrote and directed The Last Jedi, and despite never being let go from the production, he still faced backlash from longtime fans who felt his take is the worst of the final trilogy.