4:38 am EDT, June 5, 2015

Josh Trank finally explains why he left ‘Star Wars’ anthology film

There was lots of confusion surrounding Josh Trank’s sudden departure from the Star Wars anthology film he was slated to direct. His reason for leaving is, well… still confusing.

With all the Star Wars films Disney is juggling, it can be hard to keep track, so here’s the lowdown:

Disney is resurrecting the Star Wars franchise with a new trilogy of movies; the first is titled Episode VII: The Force Awakens, and is directed by J.J. Abrams. The new trilogy is expected to continue the saga of the Skywalker family, and reignite the battle between the Jedi and the Sith.

Related: Stunning Star Wars: The Force Awakens stills reveal Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren, Gwendoline Christie’s Captain Phasma

Then there’s the Anthology series: designed as prequels of sorts, the unconnected string of movies will fill in the blanks between existing Star Wars films.

The first movie is titled Rogue One, and will show a group of rebel fighters stealing the plans for the first Death Star. Directed by Gareth Edwards, it’s already coming out next year, so Disney is going full speed ahead.

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As for the second, rumor has it that it’ll be chronicling the life of not only Boba Fett, but also a young Han Solo. As you can imagine, the pressure is on!

Related: Rumor: Han Solo and Boba Fett to co-star in second Star Wars Anthology movie

It was therefore disheartening to learn that director Josh Trank had left the project; fans weren’t sure if he had chosen to walk or if Disney had let him go, but now we finally have an answer.

Trank assures The LA Times that it was his own call to leave, saying, “It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make in my life.”

The Fantastic Four director has just spent years embroiled in a cinematic universe scrutinized by very anxious, overzealous fans. And, Trank explains, he couldn’t take another four years of fan pressure.

“I want to do something original after this because I’ve been living under public scrutiny, as you’ve seen, for the last four years of my life,” he says. “And it’s not healthy for me right now in my life. I want to do something that’s below the radar.”

Related: New Fantastic Four trailer gives us our first look at the film’s villain, Doctor Doom

Josh Trank, whose absence from the Star Wars celebration last month was intensely discussed on social media, also admits that he’s been surprised by the outcry surrounding his decision to leave.

“At first I was like, ‘I’m just not going to say anything because it will blow over,'” he reflects. “But I was shocked – it just hasn’t blown over. People get so excited to raise their pitchforks.”

The second ‘Star Wars’ anthology film is due in 2018. No new director has yet been named.

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