On August 15, 2015 it was announced that director Colin Trevorrow would helm the third installment of the new Star Wars trilogy, the still-untitled Episode IX. Just over two years later, that's no longer the case; Lucasfilm and Trevorrow have now parted ways, with the former releasing an official statement reading, “Colin has been a wonderful collaborator throughout the development process but we have all come to the conclusion that our visions for the project differ.”
It’d take a special kind of cynicism to pass judgement on a film that’s still in pre-production. We won’t know whether Trevorrow’s removal from the film will factor into the final product's quality until May 2019 (although considering the circumstance, it wouldn’t be surprising if it was pushed back to December). However, this is now the second time this year alone that Lucasfilm has parted ways with one of its directors, after Christopher Miller and Phil Lord were fired from the Han Solo spin off movie and replaced with Ron Howard back in June. Unlike Trevorrow, however, Miller and Lord were removed six months into production, with much of the film reportedly having been shot.
Of course, Episode IX's production problems extend past its directors. Originally, The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson was slated to write a story treatment, with Trevorrow and his writing partner Derek Connolly later being announced as the film's screenwriters. According to the Hollywood Reporter, "Script issues have continued to be the continuing sore spot with Episode IX’s development," with This Is England's screenwriter Jack Thorne the latest person hired for rewrites.
Episode IX, along with the untitled Han Solo movie, aren't the only Star Wars films with problems behind the scenes. Director Josh Trank was also fired from an untitled spin off film, and after watching Rogue One many keen-eyed viewers noted that there was footage from the film’s trailers that didn’t appear in the final version, scenes which were alter revealed to have been cut from the final edit. Tony Gilroy was brought in as a script doctor and to lead extensive reshoots for the film.
So should we be worried about these directorial and production change ups?