Star Wars: Episode IX Manages Risk In A Galaxy Far, Far Away

J.J. Abrams is back
  • Theatrical
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Star Wars: Episode IX comes out in theaters May 24, 2019.
Star Wars: Episode IX comes out in theaters May 24, 2019. Lucasfilm

J.J. Abrams will write and direct Star Wars: Episode IX, replacing Colin Trevorrow, who sucked too much. What a disappointing ending to such a promising development.

Abrams, who last directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens, will co-write Episode IX with Chris Terrio, who followed up his Oscar-winning script for Argo with the unfathomable narrative excretion, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Terrio, brought on to BvS by Ben Affleck to fix up a first draft by David Goyer (Blade: Trinity, Man of Steel), has returned to write Justice League. So we’ll get another taste of Episode IX ’s screenwriting potential when the Batman v Superman sequel comes to theaters on Nov. 17.

The Abrams hiring comes a week after Trevorrow was booted. According to The Hollywood Reporter, who cited anonymous sources, “Script issues have continued to be a sore spot throughout Episode IX’s development, with Trevorrow having repeated stabs at multiple drafts.”

So to replace the screenwriter of Jurassic World, Lucasfilm opted for the screenwriter of, uh, Batman v Superman. This would be a great place for the skeptical “hmmmm” emoji.

What we’re seeing in this latest Episode IX news is not so much a creative decision as a risk-averse retrenchment. After firing directors of both the Han Solo Star Wars Story and Episode IX, Producer Kathleen Kennedy and Lucasfilm have opted for safe, stable picks with franchise experience.

But it could have been different. Deadline reports that Rian Johnson, writer and director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (and presumptive last hope for the Star Wars franchise to ever make a movie approaching the series’ best), was offered Star Wars: Episode IX… and turned it down.

Here’s the official announcement from the official Star Wars site:

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.

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