How Should Movie Trilogies Handle Directors?

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The Star Wars sequel trilogy is a bit of a mess. Fans are very divided about it, some say that the movies retcon or negate each other, and overall it’s just not pleasant to talk about on the internet. However, I have left this trilogy with some thoughts about how it was mad,e and they have to do with the directors.

So, originally, each film was going to be directed by someone different: J.J. Abrams, Rian Johnson, and Colin Trevorrow. Eventually, Trevorrow exits the project and Abrams steps back in. OK, no big deal, this happens all the time in movies. The catch is that with this trilogy, I don’t think it worked as smoothly as they would’ve liked. I think bringing Abrams back was a big problem. I will now present the two scenarios I think future trilogies should consider.

The first scenario is simple. Have the same person direct all three films in the trilogy. This guarantees a similar feel between all the films and should lessen the chance of mixed signals being perceived by fans. Ideally, the director (or directors if it’s a team like the Russo brothers) would be able to have a singular vision and work towards it without anyone else possibly throwing a wrench in their plans. You can set something up in the first movie and have a much higher chance of actually paying it off. When it comes to the sequel trilogy of Star Wars, this would’ve been nice as The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker have similar feels to them, but The Last Jedi feels very different and out of place. I imagine that a lot of that has to do with TFA and TROS being directed by Abrams and TLJ directed by Johnson. Each director also set up several things that the other never touched.

The other scenario is to do what Star Wars planned from the beginning: use three different directors. This one I think is a bit trickier to pull off though. I think that all three directors (and writers) should be forced to sit in a room before any of the scripts are written and figure out the main story and direction of the story together so that everything feels cohesive. This way the story is cohesive, but each film can still have its director’s signature style and feel. The directors would still get to set big things up and have the payoff since their partners know certain things have to happen, but it could leave smaller things with little to no payoff. This scenario would require a lot more communication between the directors, but could still work.

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. However, I think these are the two ways that trilogies should be handled to optimize the audience’s enjoyment. What do you think is the optimal way for a trilogy to be directed?

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