Things aren't going so well over at Lucasfilm. Yes, The Force Awakens is the biggest movie of all time in the U.S. Yes, Rogue One was the biggest movie of 2016. But behind the scenes, something is off. Earlier this year, Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired as directors of the Han Solo prequel with just weeks left to go. And now Colin Trevorrow, who was slated to direct Episode IX, is out of a job as well.
While a lot of critics and Twitter snobs weren't excited about Trevorrow when he was first announced, he seemed like a safe bet. Safety Not Guaranteed was a charming bit of indie sci-fi, and Jurassic World was one of the biggest movies of all time. While his latest film, The Book of Henry, was rejected by both critics and audiences, that alone wouldn't explain his firing.
The official line is that both he and Lucasfilm decided to part ways because of "competing visions," but it's hard to know exactly what that vision is, since I don't think anyone could point to a specific Trevorrow style. And this is the kind of worrisome language that Disney used when Edgar Wright quit Ant-Man and Ava DuVernay turned down Black Panther.
From this outsider's perspective, it seems that Disney wants to bring onboard promising younger directors for their projects, so long as they don't try to put any of the style that made them so promising into their big tentpoles. That could spell trouble as they try to recruit directors for future Star Wars projects.
No replacement director has been named yet, but many sites are speculating that Rian Johnson (director of Episode VIII: The Last Jedi) will get the call. That's of course assuming he wants to do another and not take a well-earned vacation or do a more personal project. Other names tossed into the world just because: Ava DuVernay (who's finishing up A Wrinkle in Time for Disney), Guillermo Del Toro (who helmed two comic book movies and Pacific Rim) and my personal choice George Miller, because Star Wars could use something as wild as Mad Max: Fury Road.
Star Wars: Episode IX still does not have a subtitle but is still scheduled to open Memorial Day Weekend 2019.