Back in July, the biggest point of debate in the world of Star Wars was
I would do another SW movie in a heartbeat. I've had the time of my life.— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) July 20, 2017
Trevorrow's departure came as a shock to many, but pundits assumed it was only a matter of time before the announcement was made.
Defying all expectations, 2015's Jurassic World became one of the top grossing movies of all time, which was only Trevorrow's second feature film. Lucasfilm was clearly impressed with his abilities, signing the director to play a part in Episode IX. The director's most recent film, The Book of Henry, was a critical and financial disaster, whose timing coincided with Lord and Miller departing the Han Solo film, raising suspicions that Trevorrow could be next on the chopping block.
Lucasfilm issued the following statement about the decision:
"Lucasfilm and Colin Trevorrow have mutually chosen to part ways on Star Wars: Episode IX. 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. We wish Colin the best and will be sharing more information about the film soon."
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the biggest concerns with the project were script issues, with screenwriter Jack Thorne being the latest to attempt to wrangle a draft of the film.
It's important to note that, for the sequel trilogy, the process was collaborative, with J.J. Abrams, Johnson, and Trevorrow all working together to bring the films to life. In comparison to Howard taking over Han Solo responsibilities, Johnson would be much more aware of the direction the story was headed and could also easily match his tonal and stylistic choices from The Last Jedi.
Episode IX is slated to hit theaters May 24, 2019.