-- ZERO spoilers lie ahead for The Last Jedi --
We hope you're a patient person, because Star Wars: Episode 9's release date is a full two years away. That's a pretty standard wait time for Hollywood franchises, which usually take two to three years to develop sequels. Episode IX will serve as a direct follow-up to The Last Jedi, of course, which debuted in theaters last weekend. TLJ is a resounding success critically and financially, though it's proven to be far more divisive with Star Wars fans. The surprising amount of negative feedback has director Rian Johnson playing the explanation game. At this point, it seems like he's being asked to defend every decision he made with the film.
One person Johnson does have in his corner is The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams. The latter was brought on board to helm Episode IX back in September, after the film's original director, Colin Trevorrow, was let go from the project. Abrams hadn't planned on coming back to the series after heading up Episode 7, but described the chance to return as "too delicious of an opportunity to pass up." Abrams is currently working on the script with Chris Terrio, whose credits include Argo and Batman v Superman.
Abrams just pitched his story idea for Episode IX a few days ago, so the project is still in the earliest stages of development. Which makes sense, since the new trilogy's concluding chapter isn't due out for a while yet. Star Wars: Episode IX is scheduled to hit theaters on December 20th, 2019.
Since the story is still being developed by Abrams and Terrio, we don't know too much about IX just yet. We have a good idea of which characters will return, as well as which storylines need to be wrapped up. TLJ left us with a whole lot of unanswered questions, and since IX is intended to conclude the trilogy, it should answer as many of them as possible. We're not sure when (or if) Episode 10 will happen, so a satisfying conclusion needs to be the top priority.
Fans won’t have to wait two full years to return to the galaxy far, far, away, however. (Solo: A Star Wars Movie is due out next May.) On top of that, Rian Johnson will return to helm his own self-contained trilogy, and an Obi-Wan Kenobi movie is on pace for release in 2020. Lucasfilm is currently planning the next 10 years of Star Wars movies, so here's hoping that you're still hungry for more.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019