And in other, totally unsurprising Star Wars: Episode IX news… Following this morning’s announcement that J.J. Abrams is returning to direct (and co-write) the trilogy finale comes word that the release date has been pushed back seven months from May 24, 2019 to December 20. Meanwhile, despite a change in directors and Ron Howard’s ongoing reshoots, the Han Solo spinoff weirdly remains the one Star Wars property that won’t be released in December.

Star Wars Twitter account just five hours after Lucasfilm announced that Abrams has replaced
Colin Trevorrow as the director of
Episode IX:

It’s not really shocking, given that The Force Awakens was pushed back from its initial May 2015 release to December of that year — thus anointing December as the official month of new Star Wars releases…with the exception of the Han Solo spinoff, which is still scheduled for a May 2018 release.

Although Howard seems to have mostly kept that spinoff on schedule, Abrams is being given additional time to develop Episode IX with co-writer Chris Terrio. Presumably, this means they’re ditching Trevorrow’s script and starting over from scratch. Abrams’ return has many fans and critics divided; he’s not necessarily the most exciting choice, but he’s a safe one for Lucasfilm, which has now experienced two major creative conflicts with directors this year.

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