Star Wars Movie Canceled, Director Fired?

Acclaimed director J.D. Dillard says his Star Wars film died on the vine.

By Michileen Martin | Published

If you were waiting for Devotion director J.D. Dillard to reveal more news about the Star Wars movie he’s developing, we hope you weren’t waiting underwater. Dillard recently told The Wrap (via Murphy’s Multiverse) his project set in the universe George Lucas created had not materialized. The director didn’t get into specifics about what happened, but he did say “it wasn’t for lack of trying,” suggesting that for whatever reason Lucasfilm didn’t want what he was selling.

Pressed for what his Star Wars movie would have been about, Dillard avoided getting into specifics, but instead talked about how the franchise first impacted him creatively. “My dad being an aviator, we had a bunch of flight simulators, including TIE Fighter,” Dillard recalled.

“I’m playing this game for months. And my dad’s flying it with me… And he’s like, ‘Well, you know, this game comes from a series of movies.’”

That was when J.D. Dillard watched his first Star Wars movie, which was the first Star Wars movie. He said experiencing the video game before the film gave him an interesting perspective on what it was Lucas had created. it helped him realize “the full scope of what it meant to world build because I’d been playing this pseudo-16-bit game.”

Again, while J.D. Dillard didn’t share exactly what happened with the Star Wars movie he was developing, he did say something that could be a hint regarding his frustration. He made a point to tell The Wrap that should he ever pursue making a space film in the future, it will be something original as opposed to part of a franchise like Star Wars. Perhaps dealing with the demands of a franchise–particularly one that seems much more devoted to streaming series these days–proved too frustrating for the director.

It’s only speculation, but considering Dillard’s words about his father and his early experience playing TIE Fighter, it seems likely the Star Wars movie he was developing could have been a space dogfighting flick. His latest film, Devotion, is a biographical war drama starring Jonathan Majors (Loki) and Glen Powell (The Expendables 3) as celebrated Korean War US Navy pilots. You would think he would be dying to direct some epic space battles between TIE Fighters and X-Wings.

star wars movie
Jonathan Majors in Devotion (2022)

Sadly, this news from J.D. Dillard is becoming more common from the Star Wars movie franchise. In September it was finally confirmed that Patty Jenkins’s Rogue Squadron had been canceled. In the meantime projects like Rian Johnson’s Star Wars trilogy seem to be in limbo, with rumors rampant that other announced films like Taika Waititi’s have either likewise been canceled or delayed.

Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof is apparently developing a new Star Wars movie, but it’s still in the early stages with the script still being worked on.