Jakarta. J. J. Abrams, known for reviving the beloved space franchise by directing "Star Wars: Episode VII-The Force Awakens" in 2015, has been confirmed to direct "Star Wars Episode IX," according to a statement released on the movie's website on Tuesday (12/09).
Abrams will also co-write the script with Chris Terrio, writer of "Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice" and "Justice League."
"With 'The Force Awakens,' J.J. delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for, and I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy," Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said.
Other than setting out a new direction for the franchise, "The Force Awakens" managed to rake in more than $2 billion worldwide, making it the third highest-grossing film all of time after James Cameron's "Avatar" and "Titanic."
In addition, it scored 81 on Metacritic and a 92 percent fresh overall rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Will Abrams Balance the Force?
The current trilogy has had some shuffling of directors. Abrams replaced Colin Trevorrow, whose departure from the trilogy's final episode took place last week.
"Colin has been a wonderful collaborator throughout the development process but we have all come to the conclusion that our visions for the project differ," the movie's website said on June 20.
In the same month, the fandom was also surprised by the news that Phil Lord and Chris Miller would no longer be directing the upcoming untitled Han Solo spinoff due to creative differences. They were soon replaced by Ron Howard, director of "The Da Vinci Code."
According to the editors of Heat Vision, which is a comic book blog by The Hollywood Reporter, Kennedy's decision to choose Abrams may be that he is a safe choice, proven by his success in bringing the franchise back to life.
Joanna Robinson of Vanity Fair shared the sentiment as she had hoped for a woman, or person of color to helm the film.
"The massive franchise has never had a nonwhite, nonmale director. But while we can all invest in a new hope that the 'Star Wars' directing pool will eventually get more diverse, we can't really blame Kennedy for playing it safe with a known quantity like Abrams after so much recent turnover," she said.
Due to the directorial change, the release date for "Episode IX" has been postponed from May 24, 2019 to Dec. 20, 2019.