Hot on the heals of J.J. Abrams’ return to Star Wars comes word of the film’s six-month delay.
Surprising no one, Disney has announced Star Wars: Episode IX will be released in December instead of May as originally planned. The Guy Ritchie-directed live action Aladdin will take the open May 24th release date, according to The Wrap.
As announced earlier this morning, Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams will return to direct the ninth film in the Star Wars saga and the twelfth Star Wars theatrical release overall when one considers the two anthology films and the Star Wars: Clone Wars debut feature. Abrams takes over from director Colin Trevorrow, who departed the project last week over a “difference of vision” with Lucasfilm Ltd. In a statement, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said “With The Force Awakens, J.J. delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for, and I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy.”
Moving Episode IX to December also continues the trend of Star Wars films as holiday releases. The Force Awakens bucked the traditional May release pattern two years ago, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story last year and Star Wars: The Last Jedi this coming year. The untitled Han Solo Star Wars spinoff is still scheduled for a May 25th, 2018 release, but problems on that production may eventually push it to the holidays. Considering Abrams and Terrio are starting from scratch, it’s probably for the best to change the release date now than to announce it at a later time.
Star Wars: Episode IX now comes to theaters on December 20th, 2019.