It’s been suspected for quite some time now, but today’s news out of the D23 expo confirms that Colin Trevorrow, director of Safety Not Guaranteed and some other movie, has landed the gig for Star Wars: Episode IX.
It’s very telling that Disney has decided to mimic the “three different directors” structure of the original Star Wars trilogy. Even their choices seem deliberately mirrors of how the first three films are perceived. Abrams fulfills the role of the young visionary (at least, that’s how Hollywood views him) who will pretty much play godfather to the overall story, bringing something fresh but familiar to the pop culture landscape. Rian Johnson takes care of the second act, adding more gravitas, depth, and multiple layers to the world and its characters. And then you have Trevorrow, who will copy what has come before without rocking the boat too much, and maybe delivers what amounts to a third of a good movie.
In all seriousness, Trevorrow isn’t a bad director by any means, but even at this early stage of his career he feels like a workman director. Jurassic World was slavishly devoted to the original and left little room to showcase anything that sets Trevorrow apart from his peers. Even Safety Not Guaranteed lacked any sort of authoritative voice or vision.
But, this is a franchise Disney is going to do everything to protect and market well, and having Trevorrow attached to Episode IX after the unbelievable success of Jurassic World certainly looks like a nice feather in their cap. The third entry in a trilogy is rarely anybody’s favorite (cue third entry defenders in the comments. Heck, I’ll go to bat for a few, but none of them are my favorites), and I’ll reserve total judgment once we’ve seen our first new outing in that galaxy far, far away.
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