What's Going On With Star Wars Episode IX, According to J.J. Abrams

Rey in Ach-To

It's a very exciting time to be a Star Wars fan. With Disney now in charge of the beloved property, there are a ton of movies being worked on for the generations of rabid fans. This past December brought Rian Johnson's subversive sequel The Last Jedi, which turned the franchise on it head. The current trilogy will be completed by J.J. Abrams, following Colin Trevorrow's departure from the project. Fans are eager to see the man who kickstarted the trilogy complete the final chapter, and now Abrams has given fans an update about Episode IX.

We have a script, which is a big deal for me. It starts shooting end of July... Having a script in advance is something I haven't always been lucky enough to have. I'm writing this with Chris Terrio who is a genius, and I'm having a great time.

This little tidbit is enough to get most self respecting fanboys giddy with the joy. Episode IX's script is already here, meaning that J.J. Abrams and co-writer Chris Terrio must have had some interesting ideas to move the story forward. Now the question is: how's it all going to go down?

J.J. Abrams' update comes from his recent appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Colbert is a major Star Wars fan, and seems to have a great relationship with the director/producer/writer. Abrams often opens up extra thanks to Colbert's enthusiasm, resulting in the delightful information about Episode IX.

Colin Trevorrow's departure from Episode IX was initially troubling for the fandom; part of a trend where directors depart major blockbusters following creative or scheduling issues. After all, Solo lost its duel directors in Phil Lord and Chris Miller for that exact reason a few months ago. But in some ways, Abrams is perhaps the most appropriate director to complete the current trilogy of films.

After all, J.J. Abrams was tasked with all the world building associated with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He created the four new protagonists, and will therefore be able to complete their journey within the franchise. While Rian Johnson took tons of risks with The Last Jedi, Abram can focus on bringing the story to a satisfying conclusion. The stakes have never been higher, and it should be fascinating to see where Abrams ultimately takes his characters in the next sequel.

Of course, the writing does have some challenges, including how to write off Carrie Fisher's Leia Organa. Episode IX was meant to be Leia's biggest movie, only adding to the tragedy surrounding Fisher's passing. It would be a shame if the next movie didn't contain any of the original three heroes, so hopefully Luke Skywalker will be back as a Force Ghost at some point.

Episode IX will arrive December 20, 2019. But first Solo: A Star Wars Story will fly into theaters May 25, 2018. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.