Speculation on who would take over the final film in the new Star Wars trilogy has been running rampant since last week's announcement that Colin Trevorrow would no longer be directing Star Wars: Episode IX. Today, you can put it all to rest as LucasFilm announced J.J. Abrams will be coming back to write and direct.
As we learned with Han Solo, Lucasfilm isn't one to dilly-dally when it comes to making big changes. Shortly after Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired from Han Solo, Ron Howard was brought on to finish it. Now, just a week after Colin Trevorrow was taken off of Episode IX, they've announced that J.J. Abrams will be returning to close out the trilogy he started:
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's not the most surprising move, but considering all I'd heard in the last week was rian Johnson's name I am a little caught off guard (although Matt did call it in his original article last week). It makes sense though, as Kathleen Kennedy has a solid relationship with JJ already, and he knows, roughly, what's going on with the trilogy. With production slated to begin early next year they would want to get someone who can come right in and get to work.
Of course, Abrams is known for wanting to work in his own timeframe, so perhaps we'll see a delay in the May 24, 2019 release date. Hopefully not, but time will tell. What do you think about Abrams coming back for more Star Wars?