Thanks to his work reviving the Jurassic Park franchise with the massively successful Jurassic World, Colin Trevorrow was announced as the director of Star Wars: Episode IX in August of 2015. Two years later, Lucasfilm confirmed that the filmmaker had parted ways from the project after multiple drafts of a script had been submitted, igniting speculation about what led to the split. While we might never know what the director had planned for the final entry into the Skywalker Saga, the filmmaker has managed to leave his mark on the galaxy far, far away, as Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge features a TIE Echelon, which Trevorrow helped design for his film.
"The Imagineering team asked us to develop a new ship for the park while we were designing the film," Trevorrow shared with Collider after confirming he created the ship. "I took it pretty seriously—it’s not every day you get to be a part of something like that. They let me see what they were working on, so I got to see what Galaxy’s Edge was going to be. I think what they’ve created is incredible. It’s such an immersive experience."
The filmmaker went on to describe what motivated his design decisions.
"It was part of an upgraded First Order fleet," Trevorrow explained. "An armed troop transport—the equivalent of a Blackhawk stealth helicopter. We wanted it to evoke memories of earlier ships while still being its own thing. If you look at the elements, it’s kind of a hybrid of designs from [Episodes] VII and VIII, with some familiar elements from [original trilogy] TIE Fighters like Vader’s Advanced x1. There’s a lot of history in it."
Lucasfilm is known to keep a tight lid on behind-the-scenes anecdotes, especially when it comes to plans that are ultimately scrapped. When director J.J. Abrams was announced to helm the new film, fans couldn't help but wonder how much of Trevorrow's core concept could make its way into the final film, possibly inspired by the decisions he made that Lucasfilm supported. Rather than confirm the role the TIE Echelon played in his vision, Trevorrow is keeping those details to himself.
"I’m pretty sure you know the answer to that, but I respect the question," the director replied when asked for details about the Echelon's role in his story. "Honestly, I’m just proud to have been a part of it. I love that ship. Put my ashes in it, man."
Stay tuned for details on Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, which is open now at Disneyland and opens at Walt Disney World on August 29th. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20th.
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