It has been a strange couple of weeks for Star Wars fans.
A month ago, Colin Trevorrow was hard at work on Episode IX, coming fresh off the box-office success of 2015’s Jurassic World, while we were beginning to hear some positive murmurings regarding Episode VII, also known as The Last Jedi.
Episode IX might still be two years away from its scheduled release date, but now a spanner has been thrown in the works with the news that Trevorrow has stepped away from the project and replaced by J.J. Abrams.
This comes not long after 2018’s Han Solo film losing its directors, so you can forgive people for taking the news in any manner of ways.
Abrams was the man at the helm for Episode VII (or The Force Awakens), and will also return to writing duties (this time alongside Oscar-winning screenwriter Chris Terrio).
Trevorrow was a divisive choice among some, but now it turns out Abrams too is not universally loved – something which some aficionados have made very clear.
At the time of writing, more than 2,500 people have signed a petition calling for Abrams to be removed from his directorial responsibilities on the grounds that ‘Star Wars fans deserve better’.
‘Although not reflected in the box office sales, most fans agree that Abrams’ vision for Episode VII resulted in a rehash of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope,’ the petition, launched by Matt Vela of California, reads.
‘There was virtually no creativity, and no risks taken. Such complacency cannot be the trajectory of this sequel trilogy.’
The Force Awakens took more than $2bn worldwide after its December 2015 release, but it seems some want more than mere numbers. Even if that’s not necessarily in line with the studio’s priorities.
The New Yorker is regarded as too much of a safe choice by some, while others, like Vela, continue to point to what they regard as the unadventurous nature of Episode VII.
J.J. Abrams is certainly a...safe choice for Star Wars Episode IX. Very underwhelming, considering all of the diverse talent out there.— John Saavedra (@johnsjr9) September 12, 2017
Not very stoked on JJ Abrams writing and directing episode IX TFA was ok but could have been a lot better— dad (@GerryAhern) September 13, 2017
‘The metric for success in a Star Wars movie cannot be box office sales,’ the petition argues.
‘Lucasfilm and Disney *need* to listen to fan criticism. Star Wars fans deserve better. They demand better.’
(Images: Rex Features)