Star Wars Keep Losing Its Directors, Why?


For a show that focuses on the Jedi Order, they seem to be losing their order quite often.

As Darth Vader would surely agree, there is not a lot of point in being the most powerful figure if you do not use the power to get your way once in a while, right?

De-boarding the board…

When Sith Lord demonstrated his Force Choke on admiral Motti in 1977’s Star Wars, it was a ruthless but effective method to keep his inferiors in their place. Vader had then murdered two top men; admiral Kendal Ozzel and captain LorthNeeda. This was because they made a mess of things during Empire Strikes Back. And it started to look like a waste of resources.

Well, something on the similar lines has been happening at Lucasfilm, where president Kathleen Kennedy has fired directors from prospective Star Wars movies after being hired by Disney to oversee their long-running space saga in the light of George Lucas’s October 2012 sale to the house of mouse for $4bn.

In a nutshell…

The latest to leave the “galaxy” is Colin Trevorrow, the director of 2019’s Star Wars: Episode IX. He was preceded by The Lego Movie’s Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. They were dismissed from Han Solo: A Star Wars Story. And Josh Trank was cut from a project that has been believed to have focused on the iconic bounty hunter, BobaFett.

So, why is Star Wars losing its directors now and then?

Vulture has recently reported that Trevorrow was pushed as the director of Safety Not Guaranteed, The Book of Henry Jurassic World and would not play ball with Kennedy. This is because he was “difficult,” as the report said. Some reports say that Lord and Miller had got on the producer’s “dark side” as they wanted to bring a lot of their improvisational zaniness to Han Solo.

Trank was fired for his strange behavior during the shoot for Fantastic Four, although the superhero flick was a 20th Century Fox venture. And word got back to Disney that the Chronicle director could not pull off a major blockbuster.

The last man standing…

The only film-maker who has survived the creative struggle with Kennedy is Edwards. He is a British director who has made his name on low budget sci-fi venture Monsters and has also directed Rogue One and Godzilla remake.

Looking at Edwards, we can find the key to directing Star Wars in an atmosphere of producer-controlled cinematic universes. If one is willing to dance to the tune of a higher power without a choke hold, then the keys to the kingdom are theirs. But if one does question the will of the supreme leader, then they would find themselves staring into glassy-eyed oblivion.


A look into the Dark Side…

Well, one sacked director can be written off as poor luck, but three? This appears to be like abysmal planning.

The model of Lucasfilm for appointing Star Wars directors have been taken straight from Marvel playbook: “get a young director with one indie and a moderate mainstream success under their belt and let them have a crack.”

Star Wars has been around much longer than for instance, Iron Man, and there are expectations surrounding this saga that just cannot be dispensed as the next director in line are to shake up the series’ foundations.

This cultural touchstone has its roots going back to the dawn of the blockbuster era.

Star Wars is not established as an episodic, multiple-film “cinematic universe” as Marvel’s, so individual directors do not have a tried-and-tested format or template to use as a reference. 

This is surely a tougher job and requires a lot of industry nous and willingness to compromise.

Who’s coming in place of Trevorrow?

Well, the person who comes in next should be a director who is capable of adding a lot of zing to the latest Star Wars episode without really reinventing the wheel. This film-maker should have a vision and verve to understand how to work within a set framework and guideline.

Another JJ Abrams?

Well, is the American film-maker does not fancy winging his way across the Atlantic after a famous reluctance to do so for The Force Awakens, there is nothing like a little dark side telekinesis to remind the minions that they should buck up and get in line.