J.J. Abrams is returning to finish 'Star Wars: Episode IX'

J.J. Abrams is officially making a triumphant return to the “Star Wars” franchise after writing and directing 2015’s “The Force Awakens.”

Last week, Lucasfilm announced that Colin Trevorrow (“Jurassic World,” “Safety Not Guaranteed”), was out as the director of “Episode IX,” after a mutual decision to part ways. There was no word of who would replace him.

On Tuesday, StarWars.com announced that J.J. Abrams will write and direct the third and final film in the sequel trilogy. Rian Johnson wrote and directed the second film, “The Last Jedi,” which hits theatres December 16. According to Deadline, Johnson passed on replacing Trevorrow.

This isn’t the first time the “Star Wars” franchise has replaced a director. Over the summer, Chris Mill and Phil Lord left the Han Solo standalone movie with only a month left in production.

They were fired by Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy, and Ron Howard was hired to finish the movie. In 2015, director Josh Trank left a standalone Boba Fett movie.

“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,” Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said.

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