J.J. Abrams Returning to ‘Star Wars’ for ‘Episode IX’
In the days since Colin Trevorrow’s abrupt departure from writing and directing Star Wars: Episode IX, there has been rampant speculation as to who would take over the film. It’s now been confirmed that Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams is returning to end the sequel trilogy he began in 2015.
Abrams’ return was announced with a press release on the official Star Wars website, which read in part:
“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.”
Trevorrow’s departure, as well as the replacement of Phil Lord and Chris Miller with Ron Howard on the upcoming Han Solo spin-off film, were blamed on creative differences between the directors and Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy. If a statement attributed to Kennedy from Lucasfilm’s press release is to be believed, that won’t be an issue with J.J. Abrams.
“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,” Kennedy is quoted as saying.
Star Wars: Episode IX is scheduled for release in May of 2019. The Rian Johnson-directed Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is scheduled for release on December 15, 2017 while Ron Howard’s as yet untitled Han Solo film comes out May 25, 2018.