Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy on why Colin Trevorrow was ousted from 'The Rise of Skywalker'

Colin Trevorrow arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Colin Trevorrow (Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Before Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker even had a proper name, Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow was all set to direct and co-write the space saga’s ninth episode.

But come September 2017, he'd parted ways with the movie, with The Force Awakens helmsman J.J. Abrams being drafted in to take over.

Though Trevorrow still has a story credit, 'creative differences' has always been the general talk around his departure.

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Now, speaking to io9, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy has broached the subject.

“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 realizing that it was perhaps heading in a direction that many of us didn’t feel was really quite where we wanted it to go.”

J.J. Abrams, left, and Kathleen Kennedy participate during the "Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker" panel on day 1 of the Star Wars Celebration at Wintrust Arena on Friday, April 12, 2019, in Chicago. (Photo by Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP)
J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy (Credit: Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP)

She goes on: “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.”

The indie director had just one feature under his belt prior to Jurassic World, the low-budget Safety Not Guaranteed.

But after Jurassic World made $1.6 billion, it appeared that he was up to the task of helming a Star Wars movie.

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In the interim period, his movie The Book of Henry arrived in summer 2017, and was mercilessly panned by critics, Rolling Stone calling it 'a crashing disaster', and The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw branding it 'skin-crawling’ and ‘insidiously terrible'.

Whether this had any bearing on the decision, we'll likely never know, but Trevorrow's script, penned with his frequent writing partner Derek Connolly, was not used for Rise of Skywalker, with J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio drafted in instead.

Trevorrow will be back to direct Jurassic World 3, however, due for summer 2021, and bringing back Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, and Laura Dern to reprise their roles from the original Spielberg movie.

The Rise of Skywalker, meanwhile, arrives in the UK on December 19.