J.J. Abrams has finalized a deal to write and direct the as of yet untitled Star Wars Episode IX. It will supposedly be the final film in the third Skywalker trilogy. The new release date for Episode IX is December 20th, 2019. It will follow this year’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which is due out December 15th. (See the trailer for Episode VIII below.)
I think this is a great move by Lucasfilm and Disney, as it will help ensure a consistent visual style between episodes VII and IX. While Episode VIII was written and directed by Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper), Abrams is an executive producer on The Last Jedi. Abrams also wrote Episode VII, so if anyone knows where the adventures of Finn, Poe and Rey should go, it is him.
To his credit, Abrams already has two really good franchise films under his belt. The Force Awakens opened to rave reviews and was incredibly successful, holding the records for highest grossing domestic film and highest domestic opening weekend at the time.
While the 2009 Star Trek is a Star Trek movie, it has the pacing, whit and action of the Star Wars universe, just with a different coat of paint. Both ’09 Trek and the less favorable Into Darkness practically served as J.J. Abrams’ audition tape for Episode VII. Episode VII was also long anticipated, thanks to an interview on the set of Empire Strikes Back in which George Lucas stated he wanted to do three trilogies.
While Empire was originally part of a 12-film plan, by the time it was released, the number had clearly been reduced to nine. “The prequel stories exist — where Darth Vader came from, the whole story about Darth and Ben Kenobi — and it all takes place before Luke was born,” Lucas explained at the time. “The other one — what happens to Luke afterward — is much more ethereal. I have a tiny notebook full of notes on that. If I’m really ambitious, I could proceed to figure out what would have happened to Luke.”
While Lucas won’t be the man behind the camera for Episode IX, we will finally get to see an ending to the third trilogy in the Star Wars saga. J.J. Abrams, we’re counting on you.