Star Wars fandom was recently shaken to learn that Episode IX director Colin Treverrow, of Jurassic World fame, had been let go from the project by Lucasfilm. Coming on the heels of a similar situation that saw directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s release from the young Han Solo anthology film, many fans saw this as a one-two punch that predicted uncertainty and possible worry for future Star Wars movies. Rumors quickly began to boil regarding the possibility of The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson returning to complete the trilogy, but those rumblings were quickly shut down by Johnson himself, who stated that he was too focused on making Episode VIII the best it could possibly be to think ahead on another film.
Now we have the official announcement regarding Episode IX‘s helmer: JJ Abrams, the man who gave us The Force Awakens, would return to direct the final, as yet untitled installment of the third Star Wars trilogy, effectively coming back to conclude what he started in Episode VII. A surprise to some, and an uninspired choice to others, JJ Abrams returning to the fold is actually the best choice Lucasfilm could have made.
At a time when there was a large cloud of doubt looming over the legitimacy of the Star Wars franchise going forward, JJ Abrams’ The Force Awakens was announced to much acclaim. The prequel movies had left fans disappointed, and the public’s faith in the once-proud, virtually infallible universe was shaken. JJ Abrams put all of those worries to rest by giving us a movie that was the perfect blend of the old and the new fans wanted. After restoring the crew of the USS Enterprise to prominence in Star Trek, the director went even further aboard the Millenium Falcon. Favoring practical effects and an aestethic that was reminiscent of the original Star Wars trilogy, the director gave every fan hoping to return to the galaxy far, far away they were familiar with just what they needed.
The Force Awakens reinvigorated the Star Wars franchise, once again making it a global phenomenon for people of all ages, a massive financial success that grossed over 2.06 billion dollars globally. If Abrams’ film hadn’t proven to be the critical success that it was, there wouldn’t have been a Rogue One: A Star Wars story, there wouldn’t have been a Force Friday II, nor would there be so many children running around wearing Rey t-shirts.
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