In an unexpected move worthy of a Jedi master, Lucasfilm has officially appointed J.J. Abrams to direct Episode IX of the Star Wars franchise’s “sequel trilogy”.
This news comes just one week after they fired the previous director, Colin Trevorrow due to “differing visions”.
Abrams directed the first instalment (or Episode VII in the official canon) of the new sequel trilogy, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, in 2015. Episode VIII, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, will be released this December, and is directed by Rian Johnson.
Episode IX will close out the trilogy in 2019.
Abrams’ appointment was announced in the following statement on the official Star Wars website on Sept 12:
“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.
It is also the second time this year that Lucasfilm has replaced the directing team behind one of its films with a more established and acclaimed director.
In July, the company fired directing team Phil Lord and Chris Miller from the stand-alone Han Solo film (scheduled for release next year), replacing them with Ron Howard.
While the idea of Abrams bringing the new trilogy to a close is certainly exciting news, we really hope that his second Star Wars film won’t turn out to be a dud like his second Star Trek film (Star Trek Into Darkness).
But judging from how well The Force Awakens turned out, we think that the Force will definitely be with Abrams on Episode IX.