This week brought with it the shocking news that Colin Trevorrow had parted ways with Lucasfilm and will no longer be directing Star Wars: Episode IX, the final episode of the current trilogy. Since then, fans have bandied about a lot of contenders to fill the empty director’s chair, but the names that are gaining the most traction are those tried-and-tested talents who have already brought a Star Wars movie to the big screen.
One such example is J.J. Abrams, he of The Force Awakens fame. Yes, you read that right. According to The Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit, Abrams is currently one of the contenders to take Trevorrow’s place.
Will Lucasfilm go for the tried and tested? Rian Johnson's AND JJ Abrams' names emerging as contenders to replace Colin Trevorrow.
— Borys Kit (@Borys_Kit) September 6, 2017
There’s no arguing that Abrams would be a very safe choice for Lucasfilm. Though some fans complained about its fidelity to A New Hope, The Force Awakens was undoubtedly a success for the studio. That said, previous comments made by the director suggest that he wouldn’t be interested. Here’s a pretty unambiguous statement he made back in 2015:
“I’m not going to direct Episode IX, as much as I am deeply envious of anyone who gets to work with the group of people on the future movies.”
A much more likely contender is Abrams’ successor, Rian Johnson. We haven’t seen the movie yet, of course, but by all accounts The Last Jedi looks set to be an excellent extension of the groundwork laid down in Force Awakens. It would make a lot of sense, then, for Johnson to continue his own work and wrap up the trilogy. Most importantly, he’s a lot more enthusiastic about returning to the franchise than Abrams, as previously Tweeted that he would direct another Star Wars movie “in a heartbeat.”
Whoever ends up helming the movie, Star Wars: Episode IX is due to arrive in cinemas on May 24th, 2019.