J.J. Abrams Rules Himself Out Of Star Wars: Episode IX


Though he may not have been fully sold the first time around, it’s fair to say that J.J. Abrams has been instrumental in resuscitating Disney’s space opera in a major way. Not only is he kicking off a new universe with The Force Awakens, but he has also helped map out the future of the rebooted series alongside writer Lawrence Kasdan, who himself has been synonymous with all things Star Wars since The Empire Strikes Back.

However, once Abrams’ sequel launches into theaters this December, he’ll move into a different role, switching gears to producer and creative advisor on the episodic entries and Star Wars Anthology films from 2016 onwards.


In fact, in Entertainment Weekly’s cover story the filmmaker essentially ruled himself out of the Star Wars: Episode IX gig.

“No, I’m not going to direct ‘Episode IX,’ as much as I am deeply envious of anyone who gets to work with this group of people on the future movies,” the director said.

“We know where we’re going, but only in the broadest sense,” Kennedy adds. “When Rian [Johnson] came in and started writing his script, he started from scratch, other than knowing what we had done in ‘Episode VII’ and projecting out where it was going. He then sat down and put pen to paper, and it’s 100 percent him.”

While Abrams’ commitment to practical effects and the old-school sensibilities of the original trilogy has won over the vast majority of the Star Wars community, it’s refreshing to hear that Disney will spice up the formula for Episode IX. Last we heard it was Jurassic World‘s Colin Trevorrow that was a hot favorite to take on the project, after he displayed a deft touch with balancing an established franchise with modern CG in Universal’s box office-stomping creature feature. Mind you, it’s unclear if his writing duties on the 2018 sequel will impact this potential path to a galaxy far, far away.

Star Wars: Episode IX‘s director’s chair may still be tantalizingly empty, but we know that Looper and Breaking Bad helmer Rian Johnson is attached to Episode VIII. Online reports have stipulated that it is Johnson who will pick up the mantle again for IX, but only time will tell whether Disney will offer the director another roll of the galactic dice.