Now that Star Wars franchise shepherd Kathleen Kennedy has firmly established her dominance by firing Colin Trevorrow from Episode IX (the third such firing since Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm), a new, compliant director for the next chapter in the Skywalker family saga has been installed. And, as reported in Deadline and confirmed on the official Star Wars website, Kennedy and company are ensuring that Star Wars will retain the proper tone by bringing back J.J. Abrams. Abrams will replace Trevorrow as both co-writer (with Chris Terrio) and director of Star Wars: Episode IX, presumably tossing out whatever Trevorrow came up with before he was fired.
And why not? Abrams delivered a quality, on-brand product with Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens, bringing longtime fans gutted by the disappointing prequels back into the fold. It also doesn’t hurt that The Force Awakens brought in a massive $2.06 billion worldwide, making it the third highest-grossing film of all time. Earlier this year, Abrams said he was done with reboots, but technically this is a continuation of something he already rebooted, so no big.
On the downside, it does mean that Kennedy has once again whiffed on bringing a woman and/or person of color on board to direct a Star Wars movie.