A letter to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy
Dear Ms. Kennedy,
Greetings from one of your admirers. I may only be a 20-year-old “Star Wars” fan, but I stand out in one unique way: I have a position at a school newspaper and never think twice about using my power for good to write hundreds of words concerning something I’m not personally involved in.
I was surprised when I read the Sept. 5 statement from your company that Colin Trevorrow had been fired from his position as director of the yet-unnamed “Star Wars XI.” Technically not fired, but saying that you “mutually [chose] to part ways” is a bit like saying, “She didn’t dump me, we agreed to break up.” Yet, I wasn’t really surprised at the mere fact that Trevorrow had been let go. Rather, I was surprised that it had taken this long in the first place.
I’m not a fan of Trevorrow’s second film “Jurassic World,” which I assume was the launching pad for his hiring on “Star Wars XI.” It might have been a box office smash in 2015, only surpassed by “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” but that doesn’t mean it was good. It has a “Rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes and there are too many things in that film that are only there to provide a cool visual. But most moviegoers like cool visuals, so it made a billion dollars worldwide.
Having someone like Steven Spielberg handpick a guy for a movie, in the way that Trevorrow was chosen to direct “Jurassic World,” must also inspire hope. It doesn’t matser that Trevorrow has only directed three full-length films, all in the last five years.
But forget the muddled critical reception of “Jurassic World” or the man’s inexperience, as those factors didn’t stop the good folks at Lucasfilm from hiring him back in 2015. The catalyst for this pink slip is his film that came out this summer. Ms. Kennedy, you know what I’m talking about.
I haven’t seen many films that are an insult to the concept of being an audience member, but Trevorrow’s third movie “The Book of Henry” is the most striking example I know. The story starts as a saccharine coming-of-age film a la “Bridge to Terabithia,” but it quickly devolves into something so altogether horrifying that it’s actually hysterical. Film critic Emily Yoshida tweeted after the premiere that in 10 years’ time, “Henry” would be shown alongside other legendarily bad films like “Birdemic” and “The Room,” but that’s offensive to directors James Nyguen and Tommy Wiseau, respectively.
Surely once Lucasfilm saw the reviews and the domestic gross, which amounted to barely $5 million, they would then take Trevorrow off one of the most anticipated motion pictures in the history of popular culture. To your credit, you did it. Almost three months after the film bombed, but you did it.
So now “Star Wars XI” is an orphan and continues to seek a parent to guide it along. Given, Trevorrow is still receiving a writing credit as of this publishing, but there still is no announcement yet for a new director. I ask you now as a fan: Don’t keep us in suspense, Ms. Kennedy. You promptly told everyone that Ron Howard was taking over from Lord and Miller and people liked that. It’s like the golden rule of comedy: timing is everything.
I’ll end my letter here as I’m sure you have more important things to attend to. Good luck with “The Last Jedi” and “Episode 9,” but let’s face it, they’ll make billions anyway.
Thank you for your time.
P.S. – If you’re still looking for someone to direct, Patty Jenkins just signed on for “Wonder Woman 2” . Maybe snap her up before she’s brought on for “Justice League 2” as well?
P.P.S. – George Lucas, if you end up reading this, I hope you like semi-retirement, because that’s the way the fans like you, too.