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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Everything old is new again: JJ Abrams returns to direct STAR WARS EPISODE IX

Last week saw the news that Colin Trevorrow, basically no one's favorite choice to direct the final entry in the new Star Wars trilogy was stepping down due to creative differences with Lucasfilms and Disney. Vulture then produced a whole piece about it from their inside sources, basically detailing how difficult he was to work with, and the possibility that the studio heads may have very well gotten some cold feet about their initial choice due to the poor reception of his big flop The Book of Henry - or at least may have seen it as a final straw in an already frayed relationship.

Who's to say, really? Regardless, Trevorrow is gone. And fans spent all of last week throwing out ideas as to who might replace him. My initial thought, and the rumors that initial evening seemed to dictate, that Kennedy and company would hang onto Rian Johnson after how smoothly things went with The Last Jedi's production. Other ideas from other corners of the internet: Ava DuVernay, Brad Bird, a veteran hand similar to Ron Howard. But, that night, while we were headed to our screening of IT, my co-editor, Hannah, was certain LucasFilm was going to return to the man who got the franchise kickstarted again in JJ Abrams. It was too easy, and he had nothing on his plate that we could tell.

And by god, she was right, as it's been announced today that Abrams is indeed returning for Episode IX. Abrams will co-write the film with Chris Terrio (co-writer of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League), which is a surprising development in of itself and probably worthy of some discussion.
Kennedy was quoted in the official statement: “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”.

And to be frank, I have to agree regarding The Force Awakens. Star Wars is not exactly a franchise I'm big on, but I do love the original film as a piece of perfectly crafted blockbuster entertainment (and all of its influences it synthesizes) - and The Force Awakens hit a very similar vein for me. Maybe its because its just a souped-up version of the first film and I wanted to wallow in that story structure again, but it clicked for me when I needed it (unlike last year's Rogue One).

So I look forward to seeing how this closes out! Episode IX open in May of 2019.
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