J.J. Abrams Is Coming Back To Direct 'Star Wars: Episode IX'

Even a press tour in Japan couldn't get Rian Johnson away from the questions about Star Wars: Episode IX, after he emerged as the frontrunner to replace Colin Trevorrow. But his responses were lukewarm at best, bordering on a flat out denial, and it seemed unlikely that he would get the job. Maybe Johnson knew something then and couldn't reveal it, which is why he sounded so non-committal, because we now know it will be J.J. Abrams returning to cap off the trilogy he began with Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Lucasfilm confirmed the decision today, and it makes sense for all of the same reasons that Johnson would have. Abrams was a steady hand on the all-important first movie, and we know that is exactly what Kathleen Kennedy is looking for right now. Not only will Abrams direct but he will once again co-write the script, this time with Argo's Chris Terrio, taking over after Jack Thorne gave it a polish just a few weeks ago. I won't be surprised if Abrams does like he and Lawrence Kasdan did with The Force Awakens and basically start over.

Star Wars: Episode IX opens May 24th 2019...for now. I expect they may push that back now.  The statement from Lucasfilm is below and you'll notice no mention of a release date.

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.