'Star Wars 9': Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly retain 'story by' credit on 'The Rise of Skywalker'

Tom Butler
Senior Editor
Director Colin Trevorrow (L) and writer Derek Connolly attend the 2013 Film Independent Spirit Awards. (Jeff Vespa/WireImage)

Jurassic World writers Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly will have a “story by” credit on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker when it lands in cinemas next month.

The filmmakers, whose co-writing credits include Jurassic World and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, departed Episode IX in September 2017 after two years of developing the film. Lucasfilm cited creative differences and announced JJ Abrams as the film’s new director the following day.

According to Collider, the official writing credits on the ninth and final film in the Skywalker saga will be: “Written by Chris Terrio and JJ Abrams. Based on characters created by George Lucas. Story by Derek Connolly & Colin Trevorrow and Chris Terrio and JJ Abrams.”

This has been confirmed to Yahoo by the Writers Guild of America (WGA), a governing body for the film industry, that was asked to arbitrate the film’s writing credit ahead of release.

Read more: Rise of Skywalker will tell Leia’s story ‘as intended’

A “story by” credit for Trevorrow and Connolly implies that the WGA believes enough of their original plans for Star Wars 9 has made it through to the final film.

This contradicts what JJ Abrams has previously said about the writing process for The Rise of Skywalker.

Rey (Daisy Ridley) in STAR WARS: EPISODE IX

The director of 2015’s The Force Awakens told Fast Company he was starting “from nothing” when he joined the film in the wake of Trevorrow’s departure.

Talking about the film’s rushed schedule, Abrams said: “To have no script and to have a release date and have it be essentially a two-year window when you’re saying (to yourself), you’ve got two years from the decision to do it to release, and you have literally nothing... You don’t have the story, you don’t have the cast, you don’t have the designers, the sets. 

Writer Chris Terrio, producers Michelle Rejwan, Kathleen Kennedy and Director J.J. Abrams attend "The Rise of Skywalker" panel at the Star Wars Celebration. (Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Disney )

“There was a crew, and there were things that will be worked on for the version that preceded ours, but this was starting over. And because this was such a mega job, I knew at the very least I needed a cowriter to work on this thing, but I didn’t know who that cowriter would be. There was nothing.”

Read more: How Rian Johnson paved the way for Episode IX

That co-writer ended up being Chris Terrio, the Academy Award-winning writer of Argo (and Batman v Superman and Justice League), but it sounds like they didn’t completely throw the baby out with the bathwater when they picked up where their predecessors left off.

Yahoo has contacted Disney and the WGA for comment.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker flies into UK cinemas on 19 December.