J.J. Abrams is the Chosen One.
The Force Awakens filmmaker will return to write and direct Star Wars: Episode IX, filling the void left last week by the departure of director Colin Trevorrow.
While he partnered with The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi scribe Lawrence Kasdan on the first film in the trilogy, this time Abrams will write the script with Argo Oscar-winner Chris Terrio.
The news is likely to bring balance to the fans, who viewed the departure of Jurassic World‘s Trevorrow as a sign of upheaval in the franchise. Rumors circulated throughout Hollywood this summer that Trevorrow would be stepping down, and that Abrams — who handed off the second film in the series, The Last Jedi, to Looper writer-director Rian Johnson — was eager for another trip through the galaxy.
Here’s the statement just released by Lucasfilm:
J.J. Abrams, who launched a new era of Star Wars with The Force Awakens in 2015, is returning to complete the sequel trilogy as writer and director of Star Wars: Episode IX. Abrams will co-write the film with Chris Terrio. Star Wars: Episode IX will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, Abrams, Bad Robot, and Lucasfilm.
“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,” said Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy.