Directors parting ways with Lucasfilm due to “creative differences” has become all too familiar in recent years. After Phil Lord and Chris Miller were removed from Solo: A Star Wars Story, Colin Trevorrow bowed out of directing Star Wars: Episode IX last September, despite being attached to the project since 2015.
Since then, various reports have put forth contrasting facts about the reasons behind his departure from the closer to the sequel trilogy, with some claiming that Trevorrow was egotistical and argumentative while others say the split between the filmmaker and Lucasfilm was very “agreeable.”
Slowly, Trevorrow himself has started to set the record straight on why he left Episode IX. He previously stated that the two parties had decided to “mutually part ways” but would not be drawn on more info at the time. While speaking to Uproxx, though, the director explained a little bit more about what might have caused the split.
“You know, I don’t know. I mean, I can’t really speculate on it. I’ll tell you that the reaction to Book of Henry was far more damaging than the actual movie. And I don’t mean specifically at Lucasfilm. I mean, that was a very acidic situation. And, look, every director who has worked in Lucasfilm put their heart and soul into the job and they left it all on the field, and the bottom line here is that sometimes creative people can’t find a shared path through the woods.”
It’d previously been assumed that the disastrous reception to Trevorrow’s 2017 drama The Book of Henry caused the studio to lose faith in his abilities as a director and, while he doesn’t outright confirm that was the case here, he does suggest that the fallout from the movie bombing was very “damaging” for him.
Ultimately, though, the final straw seems to have been those pesky creative differences. It’s been rumored that the director was one of the many Star Wars fans who disagreed with the direction Rian Johnson took the franchise in with The Last Jedi and so it was a sticking point for him that he wouldn’t get to work with Luke Skywalker.
As for the emotional impact exiting Episode IX has had on him, Trevorrow opened up about that, too. He said that he knows a few of the other directors who were removed from Star Wars movies they were set to helm and he explained that it’s a crushing experience for each of them.
“I know all of them. These are friends of mine and I was very close to them through all of their experiences. And Star Wars is a very personal thing to all of them, to a lot of people, and there are some people out there — and I know folks might think we’re crazy — but people like me, who actually believe that there is an all-powerful force that binds the galaxy together. And when you’re one of those people, you’re dealing with your belief system, you’re not just dealing with a movie. And so, yeah, that is a very personal loss.”