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Following this December's release of Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it looked like Disney and Lucasfilm were going to return to the tradition of releasing Star Wars titles during the summer. This trend was going to start with the Han Solo movie, which is still set to come out in May 2018, but the pattern won't continue with J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode IX. While the film was initially going to come out on May 24, 2019, it has officially been announced that the project has been pushed back to December 20, 2019.
This news came to us straight from the official Star Wars Twitter feed where the news was announced in extremely straightforward language:
Star Wars: Episode IX is scheduled for release on December 20, 2019.
This news should come as a surprise to very few, given all of the shake-ups that have been going on behind the scenes of the production. Things have been rocky for a while, specifically since the untimely passing of Carrie Fisher, but issues became a bit more public last week. After being involved with Star Wars: Episode IX for more than two years, it was announced that Colin Trevorrow would no longer be directing the film. Since then the industry has been full of talk regarding who would take the helm of the upcoming project, but that chatter ended this morning. As noted above, it's been made official that Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams will be back to helm the final installment of the new trilogy.
The fact that Lucasfilm wants to give J.J. Abrams as much time as possible to develop Star Wars: Episode IX is hardly a shock, but what is interesting is that the sci-fi saga sequel has moved into a release date that already sports some intense competition. December 20, 2019 happens to be one week after December 13, 2019 - which is where Warner Bros. and DC Comics have planted a flag for Wonder Woman 2. Because Patty Jenkins and Company are surely going to want some kind of chance at a nice second weekend at the box office, this means that we can probably expect the Wonder Woman sequel to either be moved up or delayed. Much like how Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice had to make way for Captain America: Civil War back during the summer of 2016, there's just no way that the two monster blockbusters can be released so close to one another.
Star Wars: Episode IX is still working its way through development (note that Star Wars: The Last Jedi is still three months from release), but it surely won't be too long before we start hearing some details about bigger gears turning. As more news comes in you can be sure that we will be following it, so stay tuned!