Last week, it was announced – in what now seems to be a tradition – that director Colin Trevorrow was departing Star Wars: Episode IX over differing “visions for the project” with Lucasfilm. Natural chaos ensued over who would replace the Jurassic World helmer, but fans can now rest assured with J. J. Abrams announced as the official replacement.
J. J. Abrams will both direct and co-write the final installment of the new trilogy, penning alongside Chris Terrio who replaces the only recently signed on, and rather sneakily dismissed, Jack Thorne. Terrio’s writing won him an Academy Award for Argo, and he has DC beasts Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the upcoming Justice League to his name.
With Argo, Terrio certainly seems capable of providing a dimensional, layered script for Star Wars, and with Abrams’ experience in the franchise, the pair sure are a recipe for success. Or so it seems, as Terrio’s involvement in the often critiqued DCEU might not reward him many points among Star Wars fans.
Abrams, of course, directed and co-wrote Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the first installment of the sequel trilogy which would become the third highest-grossing film of all time. Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy commented “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.”
Abrams is a safe choice, but I think those are the choices that Lucasfilm and Disney need to be making to avoid the weekly departures and constant refreshing of their creative teams. At least the shakeup has occurred this early, unlike the exit of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller from the Han Solo standalone far into production.
Some sources claim that The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson declined an offer to direct, before Abrams was offered. Regardless, Johnson states that “Whoever does [take over], I’m going to be really excited to be an audience member again“.
In more news, Disney and Lucasfilm have decided to push the release date of Star Wars: Episode IX from May 24, 2019 to December 20, 2019. At least the changes are for once being accommodated with time, and not rushed to completion as Hollywood has been accustomed to as of late.
The Last Jedi is scheduled for release December 15, 2017, followed by the untitled Han Solo spinoff May 25, 2018. There’s plenty of time until the sequel series comes to a close, though that also leaves plenty of time for more changes to be made to production.