Star Wars: Episode IX is the third and final chapter of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, which began in 2015's The Force Awakens. Although no plot for Episode 9 is known, it's largely believed this will be the last episode in the Skywalker saga. J.J. Abrams returns to direct, leading a cast that includes Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Adam Driver. Here's all you need to know about the upcoming sequel.
- Release Date: December 20, 2019
- Cast: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver
- Director: J.J. Abrams
- Writers: J.J. Abrams, Chris Terrio
Last updated: June 5, 2018
Star Wars 9 Brings Back Sequel Trilogy Leads
One of the greatest strengths of The Force Awakens was the new generation of memorable characters it introduced. Audiences gravitated towards Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, and Kylo Ren (and BB-8) instantly, and this bunch has carried the sequel trilogy to its conclusion. Lucasfilm has yet to officially announce a complete cast list, but it's long been reported Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Adam Driver will reprise their respective roles.
Read More: Oscar Isaac Returning for Star Wars 9
Star Wars 9 Casting A New Female Lead Character
Every Star Wars film introduces new characters to the franchise, so it's no surprise Episode IX should follow suit. No newcomers have been officially cast yet, but the latest reports indicate Abrams is looking to add a new female character, aged between 40-50. Her codename on the casting call is "Mara," which calls to mind Legends' Mara Jade. In all likelihood, this woman character will serve as a replacement for Leia Organa, but how she fits into the plot of Star Wars 9 isn't known.
Star Wars 9 Plot Theories
In typical Lucasfilm fashion, Star Wars 9 plot details are hard to come by at this point, but that hasn't stopped people from hypothesizing. Already, there are some wild theories popping up on the Internet, with one fairly outlandish outline imagining Kylo Ren as a "benevolent" leader and Rey looking to protect a new wave of Force users. Of course, there are numerous holes to poke in those theories, but they're still fun to sort through.
Read More: About That Star Wars 9 Plot Leak
Kylo Ren Is Star Wars 9's Main Villain
Supreme Leader Snoke was seen by many as the sequel trilogy's answer to the Emperor; the all-powerful dark side master who would have to be brought down for freedom to be restored to the galaxy. That's why it was such a shock when Snoke was sliced in half by none other than Kylo Ren, who appointed himself as the First Order's new ruler. Even Leia has given up on her son, so the former Ben Solo will continue to descend into darkness. His rival General Hux should also be back, seeing that Hux survived Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Read More: Kylo Ren Cannot Be Redeemed In Episode 9
Star Wars 9 Does Not Have An Official Title
Right now, the film is known as Star Wars: Episode IX publicly. Abrams might have a title in mind, but Lucasfilm won't share it, since they're placing all their attention on Solo: A Star Wars Story. In all likelihood, the title won't be announced until early 2019. Going by history, Star Wars movie names tend to hint at key plot elements, and Lucasfilm prefers to keep those as secret as possible.
Read More: What Will Star Wars 9 Be About?
Leia Was Originally A Main Character In Star Wars 9
The Force Awakens gave us one last adventure with Han Solo. Star Wars: The Last Jedi focused on the legend of Luke Skywalker. So it's only fitting Lucasfilm's initial plan for Episode IX was to place General Leia Organa at the forefront and have it be her movie. Unfortunately, Carrie Fisher passed away in December 2016, forcing the filmmakers to start the plot again from scratch. From the sound of things, Leia won't be in the film - though her absence will have to be addressed.
Last Jedi Complaints Won't Influence Star Wars 9
It's no secret Star Wars: The Last Jedi was the most polarizing Star Wars film since the prequels, generating a wide range of opinions. Some extremely vocal dissenters even petitioned for it to be removed from franchise canon. Luckily for those who did like what Rian Johnson did with the material, Episode IX won't try to course-correct after the backlash. Abrams submitted his Star Wars 9 pitch the day Last Jedi opened in theaters, and he liked Johnson's direction.
Star Wars 9 May End The Skywalker Saga
From the beginning more than 40 years ago, Star Wars has always been tied to the Skywalker saga. Even spinoffs like Rogue One and Solo stem from that foundation, fleshing out aspects of the original trilogy. But with Lucasfilm announcing separate series like Rian Johnson's new trilogy, it seems they're about to let the past die. With Star Wars: Episode IX wrapping up the sequels, it could be the actual end of the story that started it all.
J.J. Abrams Wrote Drafts For Star Wars 8 and 9
Much like the original trilogy, Lucasfilm did not map out a full story for the sequels, but that didn't stop Abrams from trying. In the earliest days of development, the Force Awakens helmsman wrote out drafts for the plot of next two entries in the sequel trilogy, but according to Daisy Ridley, Johnson discarded them when he started writing Star Wars: The Last Jedi. We may never know what Abrams' idea was.
Star Wars 9 Is John Williams' Last Star Wars Movie
Besides George Lucas, there is arguably nobody more important to Star Wars' success than John Williams. The legendary composer's music is an integral ingredient of the films, giving us some of the most memorable themes in cinema. He's scored all of the saga episodes and will return for Episode IX. Williams has hinted this will be his last go-around in the faraway galaxy, feeling that nine is more than enough for him.
J.J. Abrams Is Directing Star Wars 9
Abrams will get to finish what he started, coming on to helm Star Wars: Episode IX after Lucasfilm parted ways with original director Colin Trevorrow. Hired for the job in 2015, Trevorrow left the project in the fall of 2017 (just months after Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired from Solo) due to creative differences. There was a point in time when Abrams was hesitant to helm one Star Wars movie, but now he'll become the only director not named George Lucas to make two.
Star Wars 9's Second Unit Director Is An Historic Hire
While the modern Star Wars films have been some of the most successful in the last few years, many viewers have criticized the franchise for a lack of diversity behind the camera. A majority of Star Wars creatives are white men, but that changes with Episode IX. It's been announced Victoria Mahoney, a black female, will be the film's second unit director.
Colin Trevorrow's Star Wars 9 Pitch Made Daisy Ridley Cry
Since Trevorrow was taken off of Episode IX well before Star Wars: The Last Jedi opened, specifics of his vision were never publicly revealed. The closest we got was an anecdote from SNL's Bobby Moynihan, who watched Trevorrow pull Ridley aside to spell out his pitch to her. Apparently, what Trevorrow had in mind was so emotional, it made Ridley cry. Jurassic World was criticized for its flat narrative, but perhaps this could have turned out differently.
Star Wars 9 Is Written By J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio
When Abrams signed on to direct, it was also announced he'd be co-writing the script with Chris Terrio. This was the fourth attempt at a screenplay for the film, following multiple stabs by Trevorrow and then Jack Thorne. Terrio has gained infamy for his involvement on Batman V Superman and Justice League, but given the circumstances (especially in the case of the latter), it's hard to fully hold those against him. Terrio also won an Oscar for Ben Affleck's Argo, illustrating he has talent.
Star Wars 9 Starts Filming In July
When Trevorrow was in charge, Star Wars: Episode IX was scheduled to begin production in January 2018, but the change in creative team forced Lucasfilm to alter those plans. Giving Abrams and Terrio proper time to iron out their screenplay, the studio is now eyeing a summer start date, ahead of the holiday 2019 premiere.
Star Wars 9 Has No Trailer
Since the film hasn't begun shooting yet, it's no surprise there's no preview for it. A teaser likely won't be released until April 2019, keeping in line with the marketing strategies for Force Awakens and Last Jedi. Lucasfilm has another Star Wars Celebration planned for next year, so an Episode IX trailer could be the centerpiece of the event.
Star Wars 9 Has No Poster
If there's no trailer, there's also no poster. Star Wars has traditionally released those two marketing items in tandem. Like the first teaser, we're predicting the first poster will debut in April 2019, possibly at Celebration (if that's when it takes place).
More Star Wars 9 News
- Could Star Wars 9 Destroy The Millennium Falcon?
- Star Wars 9 Doesn't Need Rey and Poe Romance
- Last Jedi Opened More Possibilities for Luke In Episode 9
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