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Is the Force with J.J. Abrams for STAR WARS: EPISODE IX?

He’s baaack. Just a few days after Colin Trevorrow was dismissed from the director’s chair of Star Wars: Episode IX, J.J. Abrams has signed on to write and direct the final installment of the current trilogy. The Last Jedi director, Rian Johnson, had been an early favorite to close out the saga, but he withdrew himself from consideration earlier this week. Now, it’s on Abrams to stick the landing and give Star Wars fans the satisfying ending that they want. Today’s Nerdist News reviews the fan reactions to this new development and what it means for the film itself.

Join host and senior Canto Bight corespondent, Jessica Chobot, as she lays out the bad news first: Episode IX is getting pushed back from its May 2019 premiere to December 20, 2019. That’s almost four years to the day that The Force Awakens officially kicked off the post-Lucas era. Abrams was at the helm for that pic, and it’s fitting that he’ll see the story through to the end.

Abrams is a safe choice, since everyone knows what to expect from him. Plus Abrams is a life-long fan of the franchise, and he has already formed strong ties with the cast as well as the creative team behind the movies. However, those are the qualities some fans object to. To many observers, Abrams is “too safe,” and The Force Awakens was too similar to A New Hope.

We hate to break it to everyone, but Episode IX was likely to echo Return of the Jedi whether Abrams came back or not. For example, if there’s ever going to be any redemption for Kylo Ren, it will happen in this movie as opposed to The Last Jedi. Certain thematic similarities just can’t be helped. That said, we don’t want a partially reconstructed yet fully operational Starkiller Base to be the focus of Episode IX. Just because we have faith in Abrams’ abilities doesn’t mean we want to see the same thing over and over.

Do you think Abrams will bring a satisfying end to the sequel trilogy? Let’s discuss in the comments.

Enjoy some more Star Wars!

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