'The Force Awakens' Director JJ Abrams Returns To Direct 'Star Wars: Episode IX'

Image via YouTube

If the Force is strong with anyone, it's got to be J.J. Abrams, who had triumphantly relaunched the Star Wars franchise in 2015 as the director of Episode VII: The Force Awakens, which, with over $2 billion at the global box office, is the third highest grossing film of all time behind James Cameron's one-two punch of Avatar and Titanic." Now official word has come out that Abrams is replacing *Jurassic World's Colin Trevorrow as the director — and writer, along with Justice League's Chris Terrio — of the still untitled Episode IX.

Kathleen Kennedy, the President of Lucasfilm, issued a statement noting, "With The Force Awakens, JJ delivered everything we could have hoped for, and I am so excited that he is coming back to close out the trilogy."

So are a lot of fans, although there is admittedly some concern on their part regarding what's been happening behind the scenes with the Star Wars franchise. The Disney owned company came out strongly with Episode VII, which was followed by the standalone Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, directed by Gareth Edwards. In its initial cut, Lucasfilm was reportedly unhappy with the film and it underwent extensive reshoots, which worked out in the end for what became a lead in to the original Star Wars from 1977 (Episode IV: A New Hope). Then there's this December's Episode VIII: The Last Jedi from writer/director Riann Johnson (Looper), which apparently went well from a production point of view. Unfortunately, the standalone Han Solo film scheduled for next year recently saw directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller let go, only to be replaced by Ron Howard. That film is still scheduled for next May.

Abrams, who has proven that he doesn't like to be rushed (just look at the gap between his Star Trek films for proof of that) apparently insisted on more time for *Episode IX." The film's release date has been changed from May of 2019 to December of that year.

Lead image via YouTube.

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