Star Wars Episode IX: Let’s Fantasy Book the New Director!

This past Tuesday, Lucasfilm announced that Colin Trevorrow will no longer be directing of the ninth installment of the Star Wars saga. Much can be said about what that means for the future of the series, and we can endlessly speculate on why he left (or was fired from) the project. However, with a scheduled May 2019 release date, what is certain is that Lucasfilm has no time to waste in finding a new director for the film. So while we wait for an official announcement, it’s time to do some fantasy booking! If there were no restrictions, who would I love to see behind the camera?

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Rian Johnson

The writer and director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi is on the top of everybody’s list. We all applauded the decision when he was announced for the saga’s eighth installment, and as its debut this December draws closer, the anticipation is boiling over as we await to see how the story continues to unfold. Personally, I’m a huge fan of his work on Looper and Breaking Bad. Also, compared to the relative chaos arising from Episode IX and the Han Solo anthology film before that, Johnson’s tenure has looked to have gone by smoothly. Of course, these opinions could all change given how The Last Jedi is received once it is released, but for now, I’m all in.

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J.J. Abrams

And one can’t mention one Star Wars sequel trilogy director without mentioning the other. Abrams ushered in this new era of the saga with The Force Awakens, and whether or not you thought it was a bit too derivative of the original film, there is no denying that people loved it enough to make it one of the biggest movies of all time. Let’s also not forget his success in rebooting the Star Trek films before that. In today’s generation of directors, Abrams is a certified box office draw, and I would love to see what he would do with a fresh and new Star Wars film.

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Steven Spielberg

This one very much defines the concept of fantasy booking. To even consider one of the greatest and most acclaimed directors of all time taking the helm of a Star Wars movie is very much a pipe dream. Nonetheless, it’s still an incredibly appealing thought. Spielberg has a decades-long relationship with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, with whom he co-founded his Amblin Entertainment production company. So given the “creative differences” Lucasfilm have been having with their recently departed directors, you’d have to imagine that Kennedy and Spielberg would have a unified vision for the film.

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Patty Jenkins

Sadly, there are very few high-profile female directors to consider for the position, but Jenkins is certainly holding rank at the top of the list. The director of the Academy-Award-winning Monster reached new levels of fame and accolades as the lady behind Wonder Woman, the biggest hit that DC has had with their current string of superhero flicks. Jenkins has proven to have great filmmaking instincts: Since the release of Wonder Woman, she has talked about her debating with crew members on whether or not to include the “No Man’s Land” scene, aka the most iconic scene of the movie. As much as I’d like to pretend that a woman directing Star Wars isn’t that big a deal, we all know the truth. And in a series that is looking to become more centered on Rey, I certainly wouldn’t mind Jenkins getting her hands on it.

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David Yates

Out of all of the directors listed here, this is the one I actually consider most seriously. Yates is best known for his amazing work on the second half of the Harry Potter film series, along with the spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. For me, when Yates took over the Potter series is when those films became truly great, particularly in the performances of the young stars. Up until that point, I had never been more impressed with Daniel Radcliffe than I was when I saw him in The Order of the Phoenix, and I believe Yates deserves a lot of credit for bringing that out. I would love to see how he works with the likes of Daisy Ridley and John Boyega. If Yates weren’t already busy filming the Fantastic Beasts sequel, I would consider him a natural fit to close out the current Star Wars saga.

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Joss Whedon

No list of potential Star Wars directors is complete without the object of nerd worship around the world. I am very much a part of that group, and in our eyes, Whedon is a TV and film god who can do no wrong. When he was announced to be taking over post-productions duties on Justice League after Zack Snyder’s tragic departure, people were instantly more invested in that movie, constantly speculating how much of an influence he is having on it. And with The Avengers, Whedon took characters and personalities from previous films and somehow managed to weave them all together into a cohesive and incredibly fun flick. It’s unknown at this point how much–if any–of Trevorrow’s script will remain in the production of Episode IX, but writing is definitely one of Whedon’s strongest suits, so it’d be intriguing to see how a Star Wars finale would fare with a Whedon script.

So who would love to see step into the director’s chair of the next Star Wars film? Let me know in the comments below!

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