Huge, huge news on the Star Wars front today — there has been a ton of speculation about who might take over the final film in the new trilogy since Colin Trevorrow was reported leaving the project. Many thought that Rian Johnson, director of the upcoming The Last Jedi, might also take over Episode IX (though Deadline reports he didn’t want the job), or that Disney might use this change-up as an opportunity to add a woman or POC to the director’s chair. But if you know anything about Hollywood you should know that it doesn’t like to take chances, so the natural choice was for Disney and Lucasfilm to go with someone they have worked with on this scale before: J.J. Abrams.
A statement from Disney and Lucasfilm today posted on StarWars.com reads:
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.
There are sure to be many, many opinions on Abrams returning to helm the final installment of this trilogy (and writing it), so let us know what you are thinking in the comments. Are you happy with a safe choice like Abrams after the success of The Force Awakens? Do you wish that Disney and Lucasfilm had chosen some new blood instead? Are you wondering why Rian Johnson passed over the offer? (My personal speculation is that it’s just such a massively intensive process that it might have killed him to have kept going with it for another few years). Let us know your thoughts, and we’ll update you if and when we know more.