Earlier this month, it was revealed that Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow would be stepping down from the director's chair of Star Wars Episode IX. While the film won't go into full production until next year, this sent the internet into a frenzy. The untitled Han Solo spin-off recently lost its directors at the very end of the production and it's starting to look like there might be a bit of a struggle for directors to see their vision through. If they don't play by Disney's rules, they get kicked out and rumor has it a similar thing happened to Trevorrow amongst other things.
After about a week or so of speculation, Disney revaled today that Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams will coming in to close the new Star Wars trilogy by writing and directing Episode IX. With that said, Abrams is going to need some time to get the ball rolling on things and conjure up some ideas for where his initial vision ends. Disney has pushed back Episode IX from its initial May 2019 release date to December 20th, 2019, continuing a tradition that the mainline films have held since 2015.
Star Wars: Episode IX is scheduled for release on December 20, 2019. pic.twitter.com/rDBqmuHX89
— Star Wars (@starwars) September 12, 2017
The final chapter in the third Star Wars trilogy will also be competing with Wonder Woman 2's second week in theaters which could potentially damage Star Wars' box office earnings ever so slightly. It's also possible DC and Warner Bros. will move Wonder Woman 2 into 2020 or push it forward a month or two in 2019 to give it ample space for it to succeed. DC moved Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to a March 2016 after realizing that they might not be able to compete against Marvel's Captain America: Civil War which would've opened on the same day as BVS.
Abrams probably didn't expect that he'd have to finish what he started so it'll be interesting to see if he can give us a satisfying conclusion and tie up any loose ends he may have created. Fans are also hoping he'll be able to deliver a fresh take rather than a retread of Return of the Jedi given the fact many see The Force Awakens as a soft-remake of A New Hope.
In the meantime, Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens on December 15th, 2017 and the Han Solo movie has yet to be delayed despite its major production issues, it'll open on May 25th, 2018.