Star Wars has a director problem. First, there were the frantic Rogue One rewrites and reshoots last year to completely reshape director Gareth Edwards's first cut. Then came the disagreements between Disney and the original directors of the upcoming Han Solo origin story, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, back in June—disagreements that resulted in their ousting and Ron Howard stepping in to pick up the pieces of the nearly-completed project.
Finally, a few weeks ago, Lucasfilm announced that Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow would also be stepping down, stirring up speculation about who would take the reigns of the final installment of the sequel trilogy. After Last Jedi director Rian Johnson reportedly declined the job, Lucasfilm announced Tuesday that J.J. Abrams would be returning to take over Episode IX. It turns out Disney saw a formula that works and is going back for seconds.
"With The Force Awakens, J.J. delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for," Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy explained in a statement. "I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy."
Abrams has signed on to co-write the script with Chris Terrio, who penned Batman vs. Superman, Argo, and the upcoming Justice League film, as well as direct the final installment of the sequel trilogy he launched with The Force Awakens in 2015.
While Abrams is currently producing 12 ongoing projects, including Stephen King's Castle Rock TV series and new Mission: Impossible, Cloverfield, and Star Trek films, he doesn't have any other directorial roles lined up. Hopefully, he'll be able to bring the as-yet-untitled Episode IX in for a landing by its currently scheduled release date of May 24, 2019.