Director Colin Trevorrow has decided to leave Star Wars: Episode IX because he and Lucasfilm have differing “visions”.
Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to star Daisy Ridley and John Boyega and is due out in May 2019. Lucasfilm will now seek a replacement for Colin Trevorrow, who is best known for directing Jurassic World.
The director’s departure comes less than three months after a Han Solo spin-off also lost its directors.
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were replaced by Ron Howard.
On September 5, a statement on the Star Wars website said: “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.”
Jack Thorne – who wrote the script for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – is reported to be working on the screenplay for Episode IX.
Lucasfilm has a reputation for ruthlessness when it comes to hiring and firing directors. In 2015, Fantastic Four‘s Josh Trank was dropped from directing a standalone Star Wars story.
According to Deadline, Rian Johnson, who is directing The Last Jedi (AKA Episode VIII, which is out this December), is top of the shortlist.
There are suggestions that JJ Abrams – who directed The Force Awakens (AKA Episode VII, out in 2015) – could step in.
Star Wars Day is celebrated each year on May 4th to honor the Star Wars franchise created by George Lucas.
May 4th is considered a holiday by Star Wars fans to celebrate the franchise’s films series, books, and culture as well as strict religious rituals.
The date was chosen for the easy pun on the catchphrase “May the Force be with you”—”May the fourth be with you”.
Even though the holiday was not actually created or declared by Lucasfilm many Star Wars fans across the world choose to celebrate the holiday.
Some stores even have special promotions and other things that help support May 4th as a holiday.
One of the earliest known records of “May the 4th” used in popular culture is in 1979, as described by author Alan Arnold while he was chronicling the making of The Empire Strikes Back for Lucasfilm:“Margaret Thatcher has won the election and become Britain’s first woman prime minister. To celebrate their victory her party took a half page of advertising space in the London Evening News. This message, referring to the day of victory, was <<May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations>>, further proof of the extent to which Star Wars has influenced us all.”
Once the internet allowed Star Wars fans around the world to connect with one another, May the 4th soon became a grassroots tradition each year, with fans online and offline proclaiming it Star Wars Day.
While the idea of May the 4th did not start with Lucasfilm, the film company that created Star Wars has fully embraced the spirit of fandom that makes the day so special. StarWars.com as well as the official Star Wars social media channels (hashtag #StarWarsDay) help spread the word and showcase fan activity.
More and more official partners have offered sales, giveaways and exclusives, and have hosted parties and other activities to mark the day.
May the 4th kicks off a season of celebration, particularly since the month of May has always been important to Star Wars fans.
The six live-action movies of the Star Wars saga debuted in May (starting with the original Star Wars on May 25, 1977).
The month of May includes George Lucas’ birthday (May 14, 1944), and has been the traditional start date of the popular Star Wars Weekends at Walt Disney World Resort.
With the exciting launch of a new trilogy of movies beginning with Star Wars: The Force Awakens coming in the near future, this day to celebrate the saga and its amazing fans is certain to become even bigger each year.
Iconic Star Wars character R2-D2 is to make an appearance in the next outing, Episode VII, LucasFilm have confirmed.
The squat, squeaking android is being created at Pinewood Studios by two British men who are members of a Star Wars robot-building group.
Lee Towersey and Oliver Steeples say they feel “very privileged” to be working on the film.
Star Wars: Episode VII is currently in pre-production and filming is due to begin in the spring.
The new outing is being directed by JJ Abrams and is set for release in December 2015.
The two robot builders have previously employed their skills on Star Wars-themed commercials, but it was a visit of LucasFilm president Kathleen Kennedy to a convention in Germany that got their work noticed – and landed them jobs on the new film.
R2-D2 is to make an appearance in Star Wars Episode VII
“I mentioned that the R2-D2 Builders in the UK were available if required, as a semi-joke. When I was contacted to work on the film by executive producer Jason McGatlin, it was on her recommendation,” said Oliver Steeples.
“It’s a dream come true,” he added.
“I hope I can live up to the expectations of the thousands of R2-D2 builders around the world, let alone the millions of Star Wars fans.”
The pair, who have been constructing R2-D2 units for some years, will be responsible for maintaining the robots during the making of the film, and will try to improve on its design.
The robot is a mesh of gears, lights and electronics which need to be kept in excellent condition throughout the production of the movie.
British actor Kenny Baker was inside the machine for the first six Star Wars films. It has not been revealed whether he will rejoin the series for Episode VII.
R2-D2, an astromech android, is best known as a companion to the human heroes of the Star Wars franchise, including Luke and Anakin Skywalker, using its resources to rescue them from perilous situations.
He built up an endearing partnership with his fussy fellow android C-3PO, who is able to understand R2-D2’s language and interprets it for humans.
The droid’s name is an abbreviation of “reel 2, dialogue 2” – which Star Wars creator George Lucas overheard in the editing suite for his second film, American Graffiti.
Star Wars creator George Lucas has sold his film production company Lucasfilm to The Walt Disney Company in a deal worth $4.05 billion.
George Lucas said: “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of film-makers.”
In a statement announcing the purchase, Disney said it planned to release a new Star Wars film, episode seven, in 2015.
That will be followed by episodes eight and nine and then one new movie every two or three years, the company said.
The last Star Wars film was 2005’s Revenge of the Sith, and Disney said it believed there was “substantial pent-up demand”.
Disney will pay about half in cash and half in stock, issuing 40 million Disney shares in the transaction.
The deal follows Disney’s acquisitions of Pixar studios for $7.4 billion in 2006 and Marvel comics for $4.2 billion in 2009.
“Our valuation of Lucasfilm is roughly comparable to the value we placed on Marvel when we announced that acquisition in 2009,” Disney said, adding that the valuation was almost entirely driven by the Star Wars franchise.
Star Wars creator George Lucas has sold his film production company Lucasfilm to The Walt Disney Company
George Lucas launched Lucasfilm in 1971 and the first Star Wars film was released in 1977.
“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” George Lucas said.
“I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime.”
George Lucas will continue as a creative consultant.
Kathleen Kennedy, currently co-chairman of Lucasfilm, will become president of the firm and will be the executive producer on the new Star Wars films.
When the later Star Wars films were released in the 1990s and 2000s, although they did well at the box office, they were generally not well-received by fans.
But Josh Dickey, film editor at Variety magazine in LA, said that Disney was a “great fit” to update Star Wars.
“They’re so good at branding and brands. They’re so good at working with existing intellectual property and making it resonate with fans and marketing it very well,” he said.
“They’re not as good at creating original content, except for their Pixar division.
“I think if you bring together the minds from Pixar [and] the minds from Disney, the news that Disney is going to reboot Star Wars was a lot more exciting to fans than just <<there’s gonna be another Star Wars>>.”
Lucasfilm is also the production company behind the Indiana Jones franchise, and fantasy films Willow and Labyrinth.
Michael Corty, analyst at Morning Star, said Disney’s deal was clearly part of a pattern in buying new franchises.
“Pixar was the first big one, then Marvel, and now this one here,” he said.
“Because Lucas is private, I would assume most investors would be surprised.”