Why Colin Trevorrow Didn't Direct 'Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker', According To Kathleen Kennedy

J.J. Abrams is at the helm of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but things could've turned out very differently. At one point, Jurassic World filmmaker Colin Trevorrow was set to direct the final entry in the Skywalker Saga, but Trevorrow ultimately parted ways with the production. We've heard several different reasons for Trevorrow's departure, and now, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy is opening up about what happened behind-the-scenes.

Back before it even had a title, The Rise of Skywalker was going to be directed by Colin Trevorrow. Then it all fell apart. While Trevorrow maintains a story credit on the film, implying some of his ideas were used for the final entry in the Skywalker Saga, J.J. Abrams returned to direct while Trevorrow parted ways. So what happened? "Creative differences" is the go-to explanation, and that lines up with some new comments from Kathleen Kennedy. To Kennedy's credit, though, she doesn't really blame Trevorrow for any behind-the-scenes problems. Instead, Kennedy stresses that Trevorrow was at a disadvantage.

"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," Kennedy told io9. "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."

Kennedy adds that the release schedule they had in place also hampered Trevorrow: "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."

While I think Kennedy is being fair here, I also think the mega-producer is trying her best to not throw Trevorrow under the bus, which is commendable. In any case, the fact that Trevorrow still maintains a story credit indicates that not all of his ideas were at odds with the natural trajectory Lucasfilm had in mind for this story.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens December 20, 2019.