Even though we’re still months away from the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the nervous energy swirling around its follow-up is palpable. First, fans openly wondered if Colin Trevorrow was the right choice to direct Star Wars: Epsiode IX after his latest film, The Book of Henry, was savaged by critics. Now Lucasfilm is bringing in writer Jack Thorne to help rewrite the script that Trevorrow and his writing partner, Derek Connolly have been working on, The Hollywood Reporter reports. “A set of fresh eyes was need,” sources told the magazine.
Indeed, bringing in additional screenwriters to help with the connective tissue of a script is standard practice in Hollywood, especially on films of this size and scope (a whopping six writers were credited on the Spider-Man: Homecoming screenplay). But this could also be a case of the studio having second thoughts about tapping Trevorrow as the man to close out the third Star Wars trilogy.
Although he proved himself a more than capable ringleader on Jurassic World, that film lacked any kind of real authorship. On the other hand, when Rian Johnson landed The Last Jedi, he was already established as an emerging visionary thanks to films like Brick and Looper. That’s why many say The Last Jedi could be one of the best Star Wars movies ever.
So is Trevorrow—whose only major screenplay was the rote Jurassic World—equipped to follow in Johnson’s footsteps? That might be where Thorne comes in. The British writer is perhaps best known for penning the critically acclaimed play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which earned a ton of money on its way to collecting a record number of Olivier Awards. Thorne also has credits writing on British shows likes This Is England, Skins, and the upcoming Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, and also penned the script for Wonder, an upcoming family drama starring Owen Wilson, Julia Roberts and Jacob Tremblay.
But whether or not Thorne’s facility with the world of wizards and wands will translate to one of Jedis and lightsabers is secondary here. His hiring hints at something more endemic in the Star Wars universe. First, Tony Gilroy was brought on to reshoot parts of Rogue One after Gareth Edwards’ version was deemed insufficient. Then Ron Howard was hired to save the day on the Han Solo origin story, after Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired before filming had even been completed. While this latest shakeup is far less drastic than its predecessors, it also suggests that the disturbance in the force might be greater than we originally thought.