STAR WARS NEWS: JJ Abrams Coming Back for Episode IX with New Release Date (UPDATED) | FanboysInc

STAR WARS NEWS: JJ Abrams Coming Back for Episode IX with New Release Date (UPDATED)

By Muuka Muyumba

Lucasfilm has announced what many have posited since they parted company with former Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow: JJ Abrams will return to complete the trilogy of films he started. Abrams will co-write IX wtih Oscar-winner Chris Terrio and will direct the film that will end the Rey’s (Daisy Ridley) hero’s journey.

Abrams has been on hiatus since he directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015 and hasn’t been that gung-ho about returning to the universe before this decision was made. What’s clear is that Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has tried using ‘wonder boy’ directors for all the films after The Force Awakens, but has been trying to steer the franchise back to familiar faces like Tony Gilroy, Ron Howard, and now back to Abrams. What’s been surprising about her choices has been the lack of female faces behind the lens so far, but it was Abrams who relied on advice from acclaimed filmmaker Ava DuVernay on The Force Awakens.

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The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson was pretty clear in a recent interview that he would not be returning for Episode IX which made Kennedy’s short-list even shorter. Now, Abrams will have to balance his somewhat lighter, more mystical approach versus Johnson’s very grounded sci-fi feel. Johnson hasn’t suffered any of the same behind-the-scenes Kennedy consternation as far as we know at this point. However, The Last Jedi is a massive undertaking that may not be that fun to jump right back into. Johnson now may be able to focus on a smaller scale Star Wars Story film in the future.

Abrams, 51, is well known in Hollywood as a fanboy supreme, but also a skilled storyteller, director, and entertainer. He and Kennedy worked closely together in not just crafting the film, but resetting the franchise for the future. “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 Kennedy. Kennedy will likely have some explaining to do coming up during the press junkets for The Last Jedi, though bringing back Abrams will help stave off any questions from fans about the direction of Episode IX.

Episode IX is still slated for release on May 24, 2019  (now) December 20, 2019.