Star Wars Episode IX Release Date Pushed Back, J.J. Abrams to Direct
Star Wars Episode IX is the culminating chapter of the Sequel Trilogy. Not much is known about this installment besides the fact that there has been some turnaround in the director’s chair. While Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) was originally tapped to direct the film, he’s now been replaced by J.J. Abrams, who previously directed The Force Awakens. He will co-write the film with Chris Terrio (Argo) as well.
Most of the usual stars are expected to return, although that will ultimately be up to the events of The Last Jedi. One star who will not return is the late Carrie Fisher, who passed away in last 2016. General Leia will be missed.
Here’s everything else we know about the film:
Star Wars Episode IX Release Date
Star Wars: Episode IX will arrive on December 20, 2019. The film was originally slated for May 20, 2019, but it’s not surprising that it was pushed back a bit due to the director change during pre-production. The full schedule of Star Wars movie releases can be found here.
Star Wars Episode IX Director
It’s confirmed: J.J. Abrams, who directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens, will return to helm Episode IX. The news comes from StarWars.com, which confirms that Abrams will both direct the concluding chapter of the Sequel Trilogy and co-write the script with Chris Terrio.
“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.
Director Colin Trevorrow left the project just last week over creative differences. The statement from Lucasfilm read:
Lucasfilm and Colin Trevorrow have mutually chosen to part ways on Star Wars: Episode IX. Colin has been a wonderful collaborator throughout the development process but we have all come to the conclusion that our visions for the project differ. We wish Colin the best and will be sharing more information about the film soon.
This is the second time in the last few months Lucasfilm has parted ways with a director, with the Han Solo movie replacing Phil Lord and Chris Miller with Ron Howard after much of the movie’s filming was complete. Clearly they want to avoid another situation like that.
Trevorrow had worked on a draft of the script with Derek Connolly, before Jack Thorne (who has worked on cult genre favorite The Fades and who is currently working on a new adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials) was brought in last month.
Deadline reported that The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson was at the top of the list to direct the final chapter of the Sequel Trilogy, which shouldn’t come as a surprise considering Lucasfilm seemed really happy with his work on Episode VIII. While the studio has focused on ushering new voices into the Star Wars universe thus far, it’s evident that it wanted to go with what had already worked in the past for Episode IX.
However, speaking at a press conference in Japan, Johnson confirmed that he was not taking the job.
So it looks like the Sequel Trilogy will be known as the Abrams era of Star Wars. More on this as we learn it!
Star Wars Episode IX Story
It’s absolutely too early to start piecing together hints of story details for Episode IX, as that movie isn’t hitting theaters until 2019, but it does look as though Mark Hamill is set to return once again as Luke Skywalker. This hasn’t been confirmed, but he does seem to drop a hint and a half with his latest Twitter post…
Okay, listen: Hamill shaving his beard and tweeting about it is far from a confirmation that Luke Skywalker will be in Episode IX. And the easiest way to avoid a spoiler for VIII is to say that, yes, he’ll be back for the final installment. Of course, he could’ve posted nothing at all…
Insiders close to the Star Wars bigwigs at Disney are telling The Hollywood Reporter, that meetings are occurring to help decide the fate of the late Carrie Fisher’s iconic character. While Leia’s return in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens was strictly in a supporting capacity with a few fleeting moments of nostalgia, her role in follow-up Episode VIII was going to be larger, especially after the death of Han Solo. Moreover, in what might have formerly been a spoiler for Episode VIII, Leia’s role was reportedly set to be even bigger in Episode IX.
According to the report, two key scenes were in the works regarding Leia’s arc in the remaining two films in the current Sequel Trilogy. Firstly, and obviously, a big reunion was planned with her twin brother and reclusive Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, who would presumably reemerge from his voluntary hermitage on the planet Ach-To with new ally Rey in tow. Secondly, Leia was to have a fateful confrontation of some kind with her son Ben Solo/Kylo Ren; the kind of thing that tends to happen with families after a creepy case of patricide. Whether some of those beats were planned to occur in Episode VIII or Episode IX is still unclear.
Disney’s ultimate decision will certainly pique the interest of director Rian Johnson, who completed shooting Episode VIII back in July 2016, now facing the possibility of the post-production process becoming a lot more chaotic in the buildup to the film’s December release. However, it also deeply affects appointed Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow, who reportedly met with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy in January regarding options for what could be a seismic shift in the established story for the 2019 Sequel Trilogy closer.
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Star Wars Episode IX Cast
Expect John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, and Oscar Isaac all to return.
Despite recent quotes given by Carrie Fisher’s brother, Todd Fisher to the New York Daily News that General Leia would appear in Episode IX using previously used footage, that apparently isn’t the case.
“Sadly, Carrie will not be in Nine,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy told ABC News. “But we will see a lot of Carrie in Eight.”
Kennedy clarified that Mr. Fisher “was probably confused because we finished everything in Eight, and Carrie is absolutely phenomenal in the movie. We’re so happy that we were able to complete shooting in the summer. Unfortunately, Carrie passed away…By the time we were well underway with Episode IX in our thoughts — we had not written the script yet — we’ve regrouped, we started over again in January.”
Her presence will certainly be missed.
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