Star Wars: Episode IX has undergone some massive changes with a new director and a new release date being announced for the project. Lucasfilm announced that The Force Awakens director, JJ Abrams will replace Colin Trevorrow while the release date for the film has been pushed back from the 24th of May 2019 to the 20th of December 2019.
It appears creative differences were again to blame for the directors departure. A statement from Lucasfilm said that the parties had “come to the conclusion that our visions for the project differ”. Trevorrow now follows ex-Han Solo directors Chris Lord and Phil Miller through the Lucasfilm exit door after their departure earlier this year.
However, many have speculated that Trevorrow’s recent film and passion project, The Book of Henry is to blame for his departure. The film was slammed by many critics with the film currently holding a 22% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The reintroduction of JJ Abrams into the director chair of a Star Wars film has not come as much of a surprise. While The Last Jedi director, Rian Johnson appeared to be the fan favourite for the job. From a business stand point it can be argued that JJ Abrams was more than qualified for the job after helming The Force Awakens to both critical and commercial success.
December has been a goldmine for Star Wars the past two years and this year it will be again; Episode IX would have been the second film under Disney’s ownership to appear in May following the 2018 release of the still untitled Han Solo film.
The delay of the release gives new director JJ Abrams some extra time to work on the project. This also will also give the writing team a chance to regroup after the tragic death of Carrie Fisher. The unexpected passing of Fisher came shortly after she had wrapped up filming for The Last Jedi, leaving the writers of Episode IX in a difficult position going forawrd. Along with the announcement of JJ Abrams rejoining the Star Wars franchise, Lucasfilm also announced that Argo and Justice League writer, Chris Terrio will join the writing team to help rework the script.