Star Wars Episode 9

I’ll be up front with you right at the top: Star Wars: Episode 9 director Colin Trevorrow doesn’t reveal any breathtaking bombshells about his plans for the Star Wars universe in the interview we examine here. But honestly, how could he divulge plot details when the main saga movie before his, Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi, is itself still shrouded in so much mystery?

Instead, the Jurassic World filmmaker provides a small window into his thought processes for how he’s approaching his portion of this epic sci-fi story, and part of that approach involves – you guessed it! – the reactions of children. (The “you guessed it” thing was a joke. I doubt anyone would have guessed that.)

Although he was speaking with Fandango about his new film, The Book of Henry, Trevorrow mentioned the mental territory he must uncover in order to achieve what he wants with Episode 9:

I think having to force myself to confront my own fears as a parent, and really dig into places that I may otherwise not want to dig into and want to look away from. It’s where I have to go with [Star Wars] for it to be as emotionally resonate as it has to be. I have to find something deeply personal for myself in what I’m about to do or else it’s just going to feel shallow.

I’m sure some of you are already cracking your knuckles and getting ready to make a joke about how you thought Jurassic World was shallow, but for what it’s worth, I enjoyed that movie more than most and appreciated it as a commentary on the excesses of modern blockbuster filmmaking.

And now, back to Star Wars. Fandango asked Trevorrow if he thinks about the impact his film will have on the younger generation who will be watching it, and he replied:

It’s how it was with us [growing up]. Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia were all characters that we were able to identify with in various ways, and especially with the character of Rey and what she means to young girls right now, and the challenges that she’s up against. It is extremely crucial that I understand what actual children are feeling about these stories that we’re telling them, and I think it’s important that I have kids, and if filmmakers don’t have kids, they should go talk to them because they don’t see things the same way that we did when we were kids. So, yes, I am very dialed in to that because I think it’s a requisite of the job.

That’s not exactly an outlook you hear every day. Trevorrow is an intelligent guy – he’s not just going to take random notes from some eight-year-old and blindly incorporate them into his movie – but it’s rare that filmmakers making movies that aren’t aimed directly at young children talk about taking their views into account at all. But the original Star Wars trilogy had such a profound impact on an entire generation (Trevorrow included) that it makes sense he’d want to take the temperature of how kids are reacting to this new batch of stories and at least take that under consideration when he’s constructing his section of the sprawling space tale.

The still-untitled Star Wars: Episode 9 arrives in theaters on May 24, 2019.

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