It’s official, JJ Abrams, the man who launched the new Star Wars trilogy with The Force Awakens, will also end it with Star Wars Episode IX.
Abrams will co-write the film with Chris Terrio, with producers including Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, Abrams, Bad Robot and Lucasfilm.
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said “With the Force Awakens, JJ delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for.
“I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy.”
While this news might not excite fans that thought The Force Awakens was too ‘safe’, it should at least confirm that we will see some spectacular scenes and have a director who understands the cast and crew. Plus, if we get more of the same Millenium Falcon action that we did in TFA, I’m in.
The untitled final episode has already started facing problems, despite the fact its predecessor The Last Jedi hasn’t even released yet. After a new screenwriter was brought onto the project to re-write the script, Episode IX also recently lost director Colin Trevorrow.
Trevorrow was best known for directing mega-success Jurassic World, which ended up grossing nearly $1.6 billion worldwide and led to him being announced as director of the final Star Wars episode in 2015.
It’s unclear whether this announcement will affect the original plan of filming starting in January 2018, although we assume Lucasfilm will be keen to keep everything on track.
This continues a worrying trend that seems to be occuring within Lucasfilm lately, with the standalone Han Solo film seeing both of its directors being fired just two weeks before the end of principal filming. It is believed this was down to creative differences between directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller with producer Kathleen Kennedy, although this has never been explicitly confirmed.
Ron Howard has since been brought in to finish the film but the situation definitely raised eyebrows, especially with the decision made at such a late point in the film’s production.
The Last Jedi will release on 15th December 2017, with Star Wars Episode IX slated to start filming early 2018.