“After a year of having the incredible honor of developing with the wonderful and talented people at Lucasfilm, I’m making a personal decision to move forward on a different path."

There are the opening words of director Josh Trank, who has announced his departure from the "Star Wars Anthology" series, which leaves the spinoff film without a helmer. His statement continues:

"I’ve put a tremendous amount of thought into this, and I know deep down in my heart that I want to pursue some original creative opportunities. That said, the Star Wars universe has always been one of my biggest influences, and I couldn’t be more excited to witness its future alongside my millions of fellow Star Wars fans. I want to thank my friends Kathleen Kennedy, Kiri Hart, Simon Kinberg, and everyone at Lucasfilm and Disney for the amazing opportunity to have been a part of this. May the Force be with you all."

Trank's exit comes on the heels of a Star Wars Celebration snafu, where the "Fantastic Four" director was originally slated to speak during the standalone film's panel, but then canceled last-minute with organizers citing illness as the reason he could not attend.

“It was a privilege to collaborate with Josh," said Kiri Hart, head of story at Lucasfilm as the vice president of development, in a statement. "We are grateful for the energy and love of Star Wars that he brought to the process, and we wish him all the best.”

After five years as a columnist and editor at Billboard, Katie Hasty joined HitFix in 2009 for music and film reporting out of New York. The Midwest native has worked as a writer, music promoter and in A&R since 1999 and performs with her band Numbers And Letters.