J.J. Abrams has been chosen to replace Colin Trevorrow to write and direct Star Wars: Episode IX.


StarWars.com announced the update Tuesday morning. “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,” the site said. “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.”

News of Trevorrow’s departure from the project came last Wednesday, after being attached to the film for two years. It was reported that he and Lucasfilm had “mutually chosen to part ways.”

Kennedy, the president of Lucasfilm, adds that she is excited to be working with the veteran director. “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,” she said.

While no directors other than original creator George Lucas has returned to direct a second Star Wars film, it seems appropriate that Abrams be the first to do so. After directing 2009’s Star Trek, he returned to the rebooted franchise film series for 2013’s sequel Star Trek Into Darkness. Despite this, the director reported in 2016 that he had opted not to return to Star Wars to direct Episode VIII, The Last Jedi, which went to Rian Johnson.

Johnson, for his part, said he was “not really thinking” about directing Episode IX. “It was never the plan for me to direct Episode IX, so I don’t know what’s going to happen with it,” he said, responding to rumors that he may become the director. “I was entirely focused on Episode VIII and having this experience. Now I’m just thinking about putting the movie out there and seeing how audiences respond to it. So no, I’m not really thinking about that right now. Whoever does it, I’m going to be really excited to be an audience member again, and to sit down and see what the next filmmaker has to show us and where this story ends up going.”

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