There’s a solid chance that you’ve heard this by now, but I lost a good chunk of the day to hurricane clean up. It was announced earlier today that Rian Johnson would not be the one to come in and direct Star Wars Episode IX after what appears to be the most harmonious director pairing Lucasfilm has had with any director in their last 4 outings during the production of Star Wars: the Last Jedi. Instead, it now looks like Force Awakens director, JJ Abrams will be stepping back in to write and direct the film. Also, the movie’s release date has been pushed back to allow for what seems like a completely fresh start. Star Wars: Episode IX is scheduled for release on December 20, 2019.

Here’s the statement from Lucasfilm:
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.

There’s a good chance that this means they are completely scrapping the script that was put together with Colin Trevorrow. While a lot of people felt like Force Awakens was just a clone of A New Hope, there’s a lot of reason to not fear that this will be a clone of Return of the Jedi, or worse – Revenge of the Sith. At this point, there’s really no point in worrying about it. We still have several months until Last Jedi comes out and I doubt we’ll really start hearing details about Episode IX until next years’ D 23