After another “Star Wars” director was let go by Disney, it opened up the director’s chair for “Episode IX,” and Lucasfilm went with a talent who is familiar with the franchise – J.J. Abrams. The enviable director will return to the “Star Wars” franchise and complete the trilogy which he started. Abrams received much praise from critics and fans alike for his directing efforts in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” The film was nominated for five Academy Awards and four British Academy Film Awards. Not to mention the unbelievable success at the box office making $2,068,223,624 worldwide, making it not only the highest-grossing film in the “Star Wars” franchise, but also the highest-grossing film ever in the U.S., and third-highest grossing film of all-time worldwide.
Lucasfilm released a statement announcing the news:
J.J. Abrams, who launched a new era of Star Wars with The Force Awakens in 2015, is returning to complete the sequel trilogy as writer and director of Star Wars: Episode IX. Abrams will co-write the film with Chris Terrio. Star Wars: Episode IX will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, Abrams, Bad Robot, and Lucasfilm. “With The Force Awakens, J.J. delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for, and I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy,” said Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy.
Abrams will co-write “Episode 9” with Chris Terrio, best known for writing “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Justice League.” The final film in the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy was originally being directed by Colin Trevorrow of “Jurassic World” fame, but was removed from the project allegedly from clashes with Lucasfilm over script rewrites. There were rumors that “The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson would replace Trevorrow, but possibly for timing issues they went with Abrams. Lucasfilm also fired both of its directors of the upcoming Han Solo-based “Star Wars” spinoff due to disagreements on the direction of the film and ended up hiring Ron Howard to helm the film.
Abrams needs to get to work immediately since “Star Wars: Episode IX” is currently scheduled for release on May 24, 2019, but it is possible that it could get pushed back to a Christmas release to give Abrams ample time to make it perfect.