Lucasfilm recently pushed Star Wars: Episode IX to December and as a result has bumped the start of production back to June 2018. While everyone was paying close attention to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, seeking out every tidbit of information and questioning when the next trailer would drop, Lucasfilm shook up the galaxy far, far away by announcing Colin Trevorrow would no longer direct Star Wars 9. He was reportedly being too difficult during the pre-production process, causing a rift between he and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy.
For the replacement, Lucasfilm went back to the man that started the Star Wars renaissance by bringing Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams back to close out the trilogy. In doing so, he will help rewrite the script and Lucasfilm pushed back the release to provide ample time for them to get it right. As a result, filming has also been delayed.
Variety reported that Disney has made the decision to push production from an early 2018 start, now putting the film into production in June of 2018. This move will give Abrams and co-writer Chris Terrio several months to crack the story and finalize the script, before they worry about casting. Since this will be the fourth different script for Episode IX, this delay should be a good sign.
With this news following the release date change, it is not surprising, but it is also reassuring. Lucasfilm could've very well sticked to their game plan and asked Abrams (or anyone) to do whatever it takes to make sure they don't delay the film. Fans have been dying to see an episodic Star Wars film back in May, and the drive to meet those expectations and live up to previous announcements could have been reason enough for Lucasfilm to rush through pre-production to meet the date.
Since they are not doing that, Abrams and Terrio will be able to craft a script over the next few months. Plus, they and all of Lucasfilm will be able to see the reception to The Last Jedi and make any changes necessary as a result. If they had started filming just a month after The Last Jedi hit theaters, those changes to the story may not have had time to make it into the original script.
This delay in production at this stage should hopefully not result in any scheduling headaches either. Daisy Ridley is already filming or has wrapped on every film she's attached to that has a release date, so they should not have much trouble getting Rey back. The same can be said for John Boyega (Finn), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), and Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker). Fans will have to wait until December to see where Star Wars: Episode IX could take each of them, and thankfully Lucasfilm has more time now to figure that all out.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019