Colin Trevorrow has moved on from losing his job as the director of the movie that would become Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but he does have at least one memento from the film (aside from all the concept art that leaked earlier this year). At a virtual Comic-Con panel with his fellow directors Robert Rodriguez (Alita: Battle Angel) and Joseph Kosinski (Top Gun: Maverick), Trevorrow showed off one piece of never-before-seen Star Wars memorabilia.
What Happened? — On Thursday of Comic-Con@Home, the pandemic version of the annual San Diego Comic-Con, Collider's Steve Weintraub hosted Collider: Directors on Directing, a conversation with filmmakers about the wins and losses of directing Hollywood movies. Filmmakers Robert Rodriguez, Joseph Kosinski, and Colin Trevorrow were guests on the panel.
Late in the conversation, Weintraub asked the directors about a project that failed to get off the ground. Trevorrow's answer was Star Wars: Episode IX. Before it became The Rise of Skywalker, Trevorrow was to direct what would have been titled Star Wars: Duel of the Fates, a different finale to the Skywalker Saga than the one Star Wars fans saw in The Rise of Skywalker. Creative differences with Lucasfilm caused Trevorrow to exit the project in 2017.
Trevorrow called the movie "traumatic" to leave, but ended his answer on a positive note by showing a valuable memento: A fully-painted ship called the "Time Marauder" that would have been used in Duel of the Fates.
"I'd been very fortunate, on the films I've directed, that the path I wanted to follow and everyone wanted to follow was the same," Trevorrow said. "It's totally possible for people to see two totally different paths through the woods."
Trevorrow added, "That was just an experience... and as you can imagine, gets to the point of being traumatic when you've cared about something that much and invested so much in it. That was one of the things you accept when you take on any role in film and especially when you become a storyteller."
Trevorrow added that there are "heartbreaks," "crushing disappointments," but also "victories." "Hopefully they balance out in the end." (Spoken like a true Jedi.)
The Time Marauder — At the end of his answer, Trevorrow brought out a special item that is truly one of a kind: A painted 3D model of a ship, named the "Time Marauder" that Trevorrow designed with his then 9-year-old son.
The ship is presumed to have had some role in Trevorrow's Duel of the Fates, though the extent to its role is unclear.
But it does have a neat mechanic that Trevorrow demonstrated on the panel.
"It's an amazing memory for me," Trevorrow said.
The Inverse Analysis — It is completely understandable that Trevorrow remains hurt by the experience of losing his opportunity to direct Star Wars: Episode IX. That the leaked script for Duel of the Fates sounds far more exciting than the lackluster Rise of Skywalker makes it even more disappointing Trevorrow was fired in less-than-pleasant circumstances.
But before you feel too bad for him, Trevorrow is still making movies — he confirmed in the panel that production on Jurassic World: Dominion will resume in a "few weeks" — and he has perhaps the coolest and rarest collectible of all time.
You can watch the full panel below.