Star Wars: Episode IX has pushed its release date from May 24, 2019 to December 20, 2019.
This is the second major change for Episode IX announced on Tuesday. To start the day, it was announced Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams would return to helm the final installment of the ongoing trilogy. Currently, Rian Johnson is finishing his work on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which serves as Episode VIII for the franchise, and releases in December 2017.
December is now the home for each of the current Star Wars Skywalker-saga films. The Force Awakens released on December 18, 2015. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hit theaters December 10, 2016. Later this year, Episode VIII arrives on December 15, 2017.
If Star Wars: Episode IX had kept its May 24, 2019 place on the release schedule, the film would have arrived as the conclusion to the current Star Wars saga just three weeks after Avengers 4 served as the conclusion to the current Marvel Cinematic Universe saga. The films are produced by Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios, respectively, but both operate under the Disney umbrella.
"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," a statement from Lucasfilm reads. "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," Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said.