A long time ago in a galaxy very, very close, Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow was hired to direct Star Wars: Episode 9. That was back in 2015, and though he’d developed a pitch for the film that moved star Daisy Ridley to tears, he eventually left the project. Most reports indicate that Trevorrow’s vision for the movie didn’t align with that of Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, and since she has the final say on all things Star Wars, they parted ways.
Still, working on Episode 9 – even for a limited time – had its perks. One of them included getting to help design a spaceship for his planed version of the movie that would end up in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and in a new interview, Trevorrow confirmed that even though his vision for the film turned to dust when he left Lucasfilm, at least one element of it will remain in the theme park for the foreseeable future.
Collider spoke with Trevorrow and got him to confirm a rumor that he was responsible for the TIE Echelon, one of four full-size ships that can be found at Galaxy’s Edge. The entire conversation is worth reading, but here are a few choice excerpts:
The Imagineering team asked us to develop a new ship for the park while we were designing the film. I took it pretty seriously—it’s not every day you get to be a part of something like that…
[The TIE Echelon] was part of an upgraded First Order fleet. An armed troop transport—the equivalent of a Blackhawk stealth helicopter. We wanted it to evoke memories of earlier ships while still being its own thing. If you look at the elements, it’s kind of a hybrid of designs from VII and VIII, with some familiar elements from [original trilogy] TIE Fighters like Vader’s Advanced x1. There’s a lot of history in it.
Fans haven’t seen the TIE Echelon appear in any Star Wars-related movies or TV shows yet, but there’s always the chance it could still make its way into The Rise of Skywalker even though Trevorrow is no longer at the helm. It’s a perfectly fine-looking ship and the design work has already been done, so it’d be a shame if it was never realized on the big screen and just became relegated to a piece of theme park trivia.
Galaxy’s Edge is open in California right now, and Abrams’ Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20, 2019.
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