Lucasfilm has announced that J.J. Abrams is returning to a galaxy far, far away.

Update: Hot on the heels of J.J. Abrams’ return to the franchise comes an updated release date. Original slated to arrive in summer of 2019, Star Wars: Episode IX will instead return to its newly traditional December slot.

Mark your calendars now for December 20, 2019, Star Wars fans.

Original story:

Abrams will write and direct Star Wars 9 — this after the studio fired Colin Trevorrow. “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,” said Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy in a statement.

The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson was also up for the gig, but he reportedly turned the offer down. Abrams directed 2015’s The Force Awakens as well as Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, and Super 8.

Trevorrow and Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy reportedly clashed behind the scenes, with some insiders suggesting that the Jurassic World and Book of Henry director is a bit full of himself. Adding to the problems, his most recent film was a mess.

Episode 9 was reportedly undergoing some rewrites by The Cursed Child screenwriter Jack Thorne, but there’s no mention of him in the Abrams press release, so he might be off the project. Instead, Lucasfilm says Abrams is co-writing with Chris Terrio (Justice League, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice).

The news caps off a messy summer for Lucasfilm. Remember, in June they fired Star Wars: Han Solo directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller as filming was coming to a close. The film is now going through extensive reshoots under the direction of Ron Howard.

Star Wars 9 will hit theaters in 2019.

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