The last year or so of Star Wars filmmaking has been an absolute rollercoaster for fans, and not necessarily in a good way. Following the extensive reshoots of Rogue One: A Star War Wars Story, a series of reshuffles saw two other movies in the franchise losing their directors. First off, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller departed their Han Solo movie, with Ron Howard coming in to replace the pair. Then, earlier this month, Colin Trevorrow parted ways with LucasFilm and left his role as director of Star Wars: Episode IX.
The questions surrounding who would replace Trevorrow as director of what will arguably be the most high profile Star Wars movie in years were, understandably, setting the Internet alight. But, just as they did with the Han Solo movie shuffle, LucasFilm hasn’t left us waiting long for an answer. In a statement posted to StarWars.com today, the studio revealed that JJ Abrams would not only be returning to direct Episode IX, but he was also going to be writing it.
“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’s President, Kathleen Kennedy.
It’s hard to argue with Lucasfilm’s reasoning here. With The Force Awakens, Abrams delivered a movie that won over the majority of fans and critics, and delivered staggering results at the box office in the process. But, saying this is just a safe bet wouldn’t be doing the situation justice. The Last Jedi‘s director Rian Johnson, who had been linked with the Episode IX job, had worked with Abrams to ensure a smooth narrative and tonal transition between The Force Awakens and its sequel. Now, it would seem, the pair will get to swap notes once more as the gatekeepers to what might end up being the biggest box office trilogy ever made.