The Star Wars franchise has undergone some pretty substantial changes over the course of the last few months. These shifts started during the summer when Phil Lord and Chris Miller were replaced by Ron Howard on the Han Solo spinoff movie, and continued earlier this month when Colin Trevorrow found himself replaced by J.J. Abrams on Star Wars: Episode IX after parting ways with Lucasfilm. The decision to bring The Force Awakens director back has spurred a variety of responses online, but now it looks like General Hux actor Domhnall Gleeson is excited about the development. The actor opened up while promoting American Made and explained:
And then with J.J., he's a great director. I think that he did a brilliant job on the first one and it makes absolute sense why after they parted company with Colin that was the place they looked and I think it's very exciting for the fans of the film that he's back.
Though the fan reaction to J.J. Abrams' return to Star Wars for Episode IX has been mixed (depending on where you look online), Domhnall Gleeson's comments to IGN arguably underscore exactly why it is a good idea. Abrams has a proven track record of delivering satisfying science fiction, and after Lucasfilm's recent issues with some of its directors, he could provide an invaluable sense of stability that an unknown quantity would not afford. Beyond all of that, he has developed a rapport with the core cast of performers, which means the returning actors (which may or may not include Gleeson, depending on the events of The Last Jedi) working on Episode IX will know how to work with him the moment cameras begin rolling.
This mentality also seems echoed by the rumor that Lucasfilm initially wanted The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson to step in for Episode IX once the call came in announcing that Colin Trevorrow had left the project. The validity of that rumor has been conflicting (at best) since Trevorrow's departure, but the hiring of Abrams seems to solidify the idea that the studio wants to embrace a trusted colleague with the final leg of this new Star Wars trilogy.
Despite the relatively smooth transition from Colin Trevorrow to J.J. Abrams, there have still been a few speed bumps on the road to getting Episode IX made. Although the ninth (excluding spinoffs like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story or Han Solo) film was meant to bring the main Star Wars franchise back to summer with a May release, Episode IX will now receive a seven-month delay and debut in theaters on December 20, 2019 -- continuing the trend of winter releases. That said, with an extra seven months to work on the project, all eyes are now on J.J. Abrams to once again bring this franchise home.
We still have quite a while until Episode IX debuts on the big screen, so only time will tell how the project will come together. Until then, make sure to check out Star Wars: The Last Jedi when Rian Johnson's sci-fi/fantasy epic debuts in theaters later this year on December 15.