Skip to main content

Lucasfilm Turns to J.J. Abrams for 'Episode XI' So They Can Stop Firing Directors

Another director is deemed unworthy to carry the Star Wars mantle and thus has been jettisoned in a space capsule headed directly for the sun. Colin Trevorrow will be replaced by J.J. Abrams as the director and writer of Star Wars IX, Lucasfilm has announced.


"Lucasfilm and Colin Trevorrow have mutually chosen to part ways on Star Wars: Episode IX," read a Lucasfilm statement. "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."

Script problems reportedly plagued Trevorrow and 'XI' causing another headache for Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. She has had to replace other directors from Star Wars projects so Trevorrow's firing last week became inevitable when the two couldn't find a happy medium. She benched Gareth Edwards on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and had screenwriter Tony Gilroy do rewrites and reshoots to cobble together a workable film. Chris Miller and Phil Lord were fired in the middle of production for the upcoming Young Han Solo movie and replaced with the steady veteran Ron Howard. With many directors rumored to be candidates to replace Trevorrow, including Star Wars: The Last Jedi's Rian Johnson (who's apparently, quietly keeping his head down and staying drama-free during post-production) the male white director this time would be Abrams again. 

“With The Force Awakens, J.J. delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for, and I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy,” said Kennedy in a statement.

Since rebooting Disney's $4 billion investment in 2015, Lucasfilm has seen too many "creative differences" with the hotshot directors they brought in to carry the torch for the beloved sci-fi franchise. Understandably, Kennedy is the gatekeeper and has exacting standards that the franchise was built on so keeping these creative directors in check has become a necessity. But why bring them in in the first place if they're given little room to innovate? 

With Abrams at the helm, he's a proven commodity for Lucasfilm who'll conform to their needs while having enough cache to push back when necessary. What isn't clear is Lucasfilm's continued reluctance to hire a person of color/woman as a director. They've taken "risks" with male white directors with thin resumes bypassing more established experienced diverse directors. Barring any more director firings, it'll be 11 films (5 under Disney) with strictly male white directors. In a genre that is usually more inclusive, reflective of its audience, Star Wars has always struggled with the representation of diverse women and people of color. It's an issue that has increasingly become more and more evident from one film to the next. 

Despite the turmoil that might accompany a Star Wars film, it makes huge box office around the world. Its brand is virtually bulletproof. Even George Lucas' prequels were blockbusters despite mixed reviews and fandom's ire about certain aspects (Jar-Jar Binks, Jake Lloyd). Disney has thus far been able to produce a decent winning product. Abrams' The Force Awakens,' while very reminiscent of 'A New Hope,' was an easy, painless, and entertaining transition to a new era of stories. 'Rogue One' came together in the end and garnered good reviews and box office. So if anyone can weather the storm and prevail it's Lucasfilm. However, its lack of representation will only become more apparent and the calls to change will only get louder. But hey, Abrams is back, right?

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

REVIEW: 'Redneck' #2 by Donny Cates, Lisandro Estherren, and Dee Cunniffe

'Redneck' arrived a month ago redefining the vampire genre by not giving into convention or cliché. In fact, if you've read the first two issues, the vampire angle serves more as subtext than its selling point. It's the perfect approach to this character-driven southern fried drama that simmers with tension and intrigue.

REDNECK #2 STORY: DONNY CATES
ART/COVER: LISANDRO ESTHERREN & DEE CUNNIFFE LETTERER: JOE SABINO
RELEASE DATE: MAY 24
32 PAGES | Full Color | Mature | $3.99
★★★★☆ (4/5)
The Bowman's way of life just got upended and what was once a peaceful and secluded existence is on the verge of war. The vampires of Texas keep to themselves, raise their cattle, drink its blood and sell the meat through their BBQ joint. Seems like a brilliant front to keep them in the shadows while staking out a living. All that is threatened when one of their own is killed after a night on the town. This issues fills in the holes to what might have happened and what the hell is…

PREVIEW: 'Tet' #4 by Paul Allor and Paul Tucker

We've seen Eugene's story. But during his last day's in Vietnam, he finally learns how Ha survived the war. She's always been much stronger than him; and much stronger than he's given her credit for. With all their secrets gone, Ha and Eugene must decide how to move forward.

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

PREVIEW: 'Project Superpowers' #1 by Rob Williams and Sergio Davila

The Project Superpowers heroes came from the past, now they have to prove their relevance in the modern world. A 21st Century threat is coming for us all. What dread secrets does The Death Defying Devil hold? The Lighthouse will rise and the Spirit of The American Flag will take on a new host. But will it be enough? Can superheroes still save the day?


Project Superpowers #1
writer: Rob Williams artist: Sergio Davila covers: Francesco Mattina (A), Ed Benes (B), John Royle (C)               Philip Tan (D), JG Jones (E) Stephen Segovia (F)               Sergio Davila (G), Philip Tan (RI-B/W)               J.G. Jones (RI-Sepia), Ed Benes (RI-Virgin)               Francesco Mattina (RI-Virgin)
FC  |  32 pages  |  $3.99  |   Teen+  












PREVIEW: 'Nancy Drew' #3 by Kelly Thompson and Jenn St-Onge

No more secrets…a dead body’s discovered, and Nancy can’t keep the mystery from her friends any longer. Will telling the truth and getting her crime-solving crew involved help crack the Bayport case, before someone else winds up dead? The modern take on the classic mystery icon continues from KELLY THOMPSON (Hawkeye, Star Wars, Rogue & Gambit) and JENN ST-ONGE (Giant Days, The Misfits)!


Nancy Drew #3
writer: Kelly Thompson  |  artist: Jenn St-Onge covers: Tula Lotay (A), Paulina Ganucheau (B), Jenn St-Onge (C),               Tula Lotay (RI-Virgin)
FC  |  32 pages  |  $3.99  |   Teen+