Following the announcement that writer-director J.J. Abrams and co-writer Chris Terrio will pen a new script for Star Wars: Episode IX, the much-anticipated final installment in the Star Wars sequel trilogy looks to be on its fourth script. While films generally undergo several rewrites, Episode IX's case may be somewhat unique in that it appears to have undergone several major revisions.
According to Screen Rant, the first version of an Episode IX script was penned by then-director Colin Trevorrow, along with his writing partner Derek Connolly. While we don't know much about what this draft contained, largely due to Lucasfilm's secretive approach to both script development and filmmaking, we do know that its direction was massively affected by the tragic death of Carrie Fisher in December 2016.
Per Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, Leia was originally intended to be at the forefront of Episode IX, which meant script changes were called for following her passing. After discussions on how best to proceed, Kennedy announced that Fisher's character General Leia Organa would not appear in Episode IX following Fisher's death. Trevorrow and Connolly subsequently produced a new script without Leia.
It appears as though this version still had some issues, as British screenwriter Jack Thorne was hired to rework the script. Again, the extent to which this version differed from the one that came before it is unknown. Following Trevorrow's departure, neither Thorne nor Trevorrow are attached to the Episode IX script. As such, it seems Abrams and Terrio's script will likely be largely its own original entity.
Hitting theaters on December 15, Star Wars: The Last Jedi will also star Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Andy Serkis, Benicio del Toro, Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran. Scheduled to hit theaters on December 20, 2019, Star Wars: Episode IX will likely star Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac.