Episode IX Director Screwed With Star Wars: The Last Jedi Too

Star Wars: Episode IX premieres May 24, 2019.
Star Wars: Episode IX premieres May 24, 2019. Lucasfilm

MTV podcasters asked Star Wars: Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow if he requested any changes to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, as Episode VIII writer and director Rian Johnson asked of J.J. Abrams regarding Star Wars: The Force Awakens (via Star Wars News Net). Indeed he did. Goddamnit, Trevorrow.

Back when The Force Awakens was filming and The Last Jedi was just a script, Johnson asked J.J. Abrams to modify the end slightly so that R2-D2, rather than BB-8, journeys to Ahch-To with Rey to return that lightsaber to Luke Skywalker. In The Last Jedi trailer, you see BB-8 running through hallways with Poe Dameron; Johnson got what he wanted.

According to Trevorrow, Johnson extended him the same courtesy. But his change sounds a little bigger, involving additional filming, rather than a relatively simple change in character positioning: “There was one little thing. It wasn’t an adjustment, it was just ‘could you shoot this one extra thing while you’re in this place on this day?’ And he did, which was great,” Trevorrow said. It sounds like Trevorrow asked for an additional plot point to be added to an existing sequence, utilizing one of the locations we’ll already be visiting in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Trevorrow’s The Last Jedi request probably isn’t anything that will totally destroy the movie, causing both Episode VIII and Episode IX to suck, but there’s no really no telling with this guy. And after the disastrous premiere of his latest movie, The Book of Henry, any part of Star Wars Trevorrow touches is suspect.

During the podcast interview, Trevorrow made his own diagnosis of the potential pitfalls of Disney’s ongoing Star Wars series:

“But, you know, it’s part of the collaborative process that exists — everyone is in communication. There’s such a genuine want to get this right from everybody, and I think that one of the misconceptions is that there’s some kind of great corporate overlord that is dictating this story to everybody and that’s what it’s going to be because that’s going to sell the most toys. The reality of it is that it’s a small group of people, but it’s actually, y’know, kind of large when you think about it — and none of them are corporate, all of them are creatives and all of them are genuinely, very sincerely, wanting to do the work of their lives in order to realize this.”

Though franchise filmmaking certainly has its perils, a persistent thematic genericism being the worst, Trevorrow makes a misdiagnosis here. It’s precisely that “it’s a small group of people,” including the writer and director of Jurassic World, that’s the problem.

Trevorrow seems like a nice guy, if his Twitter account means anything, but Star Wars is too important for politeness. Disney made a good decision giving Johnson creative control, but a terrible one letting Trevorrow cap their Star Wars sequel trilogy. So unless Disney drops Trevorrow after his latest movie flopped, invalidating even the accountant’s justification for hiring Trevorrow based on Jurassic World ’s box office, we should hope for as little interference from him as possible. Contain the damage to Episode IX and keep his creative instincts out of The Last Jedi. Disney and Lucasfilm only have one chance to get their Star Wars trilogy right.

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