By Travis Johnson have confirmed Deadline’s early report that JJ Abrams, ruiner of Star Trek and saviour (kinda) of Star Wars, will return to direct Episode IX, replacing outgoing helmer Colin Trevorrow. Abrams will also co-write the film with Chris Terrio, who will hopefully damp out any of that “mystery box” nonsense.

Disney/Lucasfilm’s full press release 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.

“Star Wars: Episode IX is scheduled for release on December 20, 2019.”

The real surprise here is that Rian Johnson, currently finishing up The Last Jedi, apparently turned down an offer from Lucasfilm honcho Kathleen Kennedy – either making a Star Wars flick is a grind and a half, or Johnson is keen to return to his own projects (let’s hope the latter).

And we’ll be back with another round of Star Wars musical chairs tomorrow…


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