Colin Trevorrow Explains How ‘Book of Henry’ is a “Carbon Copy” of ‘Star Wars’

Jurassic World and The Book of Henry director Colin Trevorrow has expanded on comments he made where he dubbed his crime drama a “carbon copy of [Star Wars] A New Hope.”

Asked about the tweet by Slash Film, Trevorrow clarified, calling the tale “a foundational myth.”

“It’s a noble ghost story. Where a character lives on after death in order to guide a hero to find their strength and defeat ultimate evil. And structurally, I can’t… but you’re gonna print this, unfortunately. I’m saying this now,” Trevorrow said. “But the way that I look at movies, I do see Avatar and Titanic and Jurassic World [as] very similar movies.”

The Book of Henry tells the story of young genius Henry Carpenter (Jaeden Lieberher), who succumbs to a fatal brain tumor, leaving behind a notebook for his grieving mother (Naomi Watts). Inside is a highly-detailed plan to rescue neighbor Christina (Maddie Ziegler) from her abusive step-father, police commissioner Glenn Sickleman (Dean Norris).

“Henry was Obi-Wan Kenobi. And he died in the middle. And he left a set of instructions on how to take out the Death Star where Darth Vader was holding a Princess captive,” Trevorrow explained.

“And at the very end, when he had the target in his sights, he had to remember his training. Guided by this ghostly voice. And then Han Solo comes in with the Rube Goldberg machine and gives him the moment. And ultimately the Princess saves herself.”

Calling Star Wars again a “foundational myth,” Trevorrow added, “And I think that in the same way that we use Joseph Campbell as a foundational myth for so long, we’re now gonna start using Star Wars as a foundational myth to tell other stories. I know I’m gonna get a lot of sh-t for this on Twitter and I regret that you asked me, but it’s just the way that I saw it.”

“I hope people can understand how earnestly I look at my, at these stories, almost from like a hyper-earnest, childlike perspective,” he said. “But someday I’ll grow up. I promise.”

With a paltry 20% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film bombed, bringing in just $4.5 million domestically.


Trevorrow was at the time set to helm Star Wars: Episode IX before he was let go by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and subsequently replaced by returning The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams.

The director, who will next steer the third Jurassic World movie, said of his time on Episode IX: “I got the opportunity to tell a story that is a celebration of everything I believe in, I got to tell it to George Lucas and I got to tell it to Luke Skywalker, and those are experiences I will cherish for the rest of my life.”