JJ Abrams was not the first choice to direct Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Lucasfilm originally hired Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow to co-write and direct, but he left the project due to creative differences. According to actress Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey, Trevorrow’s version was “very different” than what people will see on screen later this year.
Ridley said on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, and reported by Collider, that she met with Trevorrow at an event where she asked him about what happened.
“He was Josh [Gad’s] guest at [the] Murder on the Orient Express [premiere] and we went for dinner afterwards, and Colin sat next to me and I was like, ‘What’s this gonna be like?’ Because all I had heard–I didn’t know what had happened, I just knew that he wasn’t doing it anymore. And he did sort of tell me and sort of not… Actually no we had gone for dinner and stuff, we went for dinner with Michelle, who is a producer. So I sort of knew. I think everything happens for a reason I guess.”
Ridley only confirmed that Trevorrow’s version was “very different,” though it’s unclear what differences there are between Trevorrow’s version and the movie that JJ Abrams made.
Trevorrow worked on the Episode IX script alongside Derek Connolly and Jack Thorne, but Abrams and co-writer Chris Terrio later came in to write a new script.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the scripts that Trevorrow submitted didn’t cut it. While Trevorrow was keen to try again, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy opted to fire him instead.
Also in the interview, Ridley talked about an epic lightsaber battle between Rey and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) that’s coming up in Rise of Skywalker.
“I just think they’ve done a great job with all the relationships,” she said. “With the fun friendships, and with the sort of strange thing with Rey and Kylo… also we have a great fight. A great fight. And I was really happy that the Vanity Fair pictures did show a bit of it. It’s a great fight. Like I’ve become such a better fighter and they made the lightsabers lighter, so it actually looks like we’re swinging light and not like heavy [swords].”
The Rise of Skywalker is the third and final movie in the new trilogy that began with 2015’s The Force Awakens. It also wraps up their entire Skywalker Saga that began with 1977’s first Star Wars. There are multiple new Star Wars trilogies coming, including those from The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson and Game of Thrones showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, but Rey will not be in them.
The Rise of Skywalker opens on December 19.