Colin Trevorrow Explains How 'Book Of Henry' And 'Star Wars' Are The Same

I know, even the headline is ridiculous. But look, I can appreciate Colin Trevorrow for seeing something in The Book of Henry, a film that failed on just about every level, that you or I didn't see. Trevorrow caught the attention of everyone with his Sundance indie, Safety Not Guaranteed, a film that I absolutely loved. He immediately jumped to the big time with Jurassic World and broke box office records. He followed that up with The Book of Henry, which bombed, and he was removed from writing and directing Star Wars: Episode 9 soon after. He says the two things aren't connected, but who knows if that's true.

Trevorrow, in a Twitter exchange with Thor writer Zack Stentz made a claim that The Book of Henry is "a carbon copy of A New Hope."  On its face the claim is absurd, but give it up to Trevorrow for giving it the old college try in explaining where he's coming from. He reluctantly answered Slashfilm's questions on the matter like this...

“I mean, it is, it’s a foundational myth. It’s a noble ghost story. Where a character lives on after death in order to guide a hero to find their strength and defeat ultimate evil. And structurally, I can’t…but you’re gonna print this, unfortunately. I’m saying this now. But the way that I look at movies, I do see ‘Avatar’ and ‘Titanic’ and ‘Jurassic World’ [as] very similar movies. Henry was Obi-Wan Kenobi. And he died in the middle. And he left a set of instructions on how to take out the Death Star where Darth Vader was holding a Princess captive. And at the very end, when he had the target in his sights, he had to remember his training. Guided by this ghostly voice. And then Han Solo comes in with the Rube Goldberg machine and gives him the moment. And ultimately the Princess saves herself.”

Okay, sure, they are similar on the most basic, most surface of levels. But a carbon copy? I think most of us recognize that Star Wars itself a classic example of Joseph Campbell's "Hero's Journey" (read The Hero with a Thousand Faces if you haven't yet), and takes many of its cues from myths and legends passed down across generations. That is how all of storytelling is built. So Trevorrow isn't really saying anything here, at least not to my mind he isn't. I imagine if this were his explanation to Stentz it would have been highly disappointing.

That said, if Trevorrow wanted to find a way to jumpstart The Book of Henry's Bluray rentals then this was a good way to do it.