Star Wars: Episode IX is the third and final chapter of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, which began in 2015's The Force Awakens. Although no plot for Episode 9 is known, it's largely believed this will be the last episode in the Skywalker saga. J.J. Abrams returns to direct, leading a cast that includes Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Adam Driver. Here's all you need to know about the upcoming sequel.

  • Release Date: December 20, 2019
  • Cast: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Kerri Russell, Billy Dee Williams
  • Director: J.J. Abrams
  • Writers: J.J. Abrams, Chris Terrio

Last updated: August 5, 2018

Star Wars 9 Brings Back Sequel Trilogy Leads

One of the greatest strengths of The Force Awakens was the new generation of memorable characters it introduced. Audiences gravitated towards Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, and Kylo Ren (and BB-8) instantly, and this bunch has carried the sequel trilogy to its conclusion. Lucasfilm has yet to officially announce a complete cast list, but it's long been reported Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Adam Driver will reprise their respective roles.

Read More: Oscar Isaac Returning for Star Wars 9

Star Wars 9 Cast Officially Confirmed

Prior to production starting, Lucasfilm officially announced the Episode IX cast in a press release. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Lupita Nyong'o, Billie Lourd, and Domhnall Gleeson will all reprise their roles from the previous installments of the sequel trilogy. They will be joined by Star Wars veterans Anthony Daniels, Mark Hamill, and Billy Dee Williams. The late Carrie Fisher will also appear via unused footage from the earlier movies. Newcomers joining the ensemble are Keri Russell, Richard E. Grant, and Naomi Acki in mystery roles.

Read More: Star Wars 9's Casting Isn't Correcting The Last Jedi

Billy Dee Williams Returning As Lando Calrissian

Despite his key supporting role in the original trilogy, Lando has never even been mentioned by name in the sequels. That's about to change in a big way. After months of rumors, it was confirmed Williams is going to reprise his famous character in Star Wars 9. It's unknown how substantial Lando's role is or how he'll factor into the plot.

Read More: Our Biggest Questions About Lando In Star Wars 9

Star Wars 9 Plot Theories

In typical Lucasfilm fashion, Star Wars 9 plot details are hard to come by at this point, but that hasn't stopped people from hypothesizing. Already, there are some wild theories popping up on the Internet, with one fairly outlandish outline imagining Kylo Ren as a "benevolent" leader and Rey looking to protect a new wave of Force users. Of course, there are numerous holes to poke in those theories, but they're still fun to sort through.

Read More: About That Star Wars 9 Plot Leak

Kylo Ren Is Star Wars 9's Main Villain

Supreme Leader Snoke was seen by many as the sequel trilogy's answer to the Emperor; the all-powerful dark side master who would have to be brought down for freedom to be restored to the galaxy. That's why it was such a shock when Snoke was sliced in half by none other than Kylo Ren, who appointed himself as the First Order's new ruler. Even Leia has given up on her son, so the former Ben Solo will continue to descend into darkness. His rival General Hux should also be back, seeing that Hux survived Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Read More: Kylo Ren Cannot Be Redeemed In Episode 9

Star Wars 9 Does Not Have An Official Title

Right now, the film is known as Star Wars: Episode IX publicly. Abrams might have a title in mind, but Lucasfilm won't share it, since they're placing all their attention on Solo: A Star Wars Story. In all likelihood, the title won't be announced until early 2019. Going by history, Star Wars movie names tend to hint at key plot elements, and Lucasfilm prefers to keep those as secret as possible.

Read More: When Will Lucasfilm Announce The Star Wars 9 Title?

The Plan for Leia In Star Wars: Episode 9

As many fans know, Carrie Fisher passed away in December 2016. While she had finished filming her scenes for The Last Jedi, the tragedy raised questions about what the future held for Leia onscreen. Lucasfilm took recasting the role and digital recreation off the table. While some thought the movie would be rewritten to not include Leia, the studio will instead repurpose old footage from The Force Awakens and Last Jedi to (hopefully) give Leia a fitting sendoff.

Read More: Star Wars 9 Is Doing the Right Thing With Leia (and Luke)

Last Jedi Complaints Won't Influence Star Wars 9

It's no secret Star Wars: The Last Jedi was the most polarizing Star Wars film since the prequels, generating a wide range of opinions. Some extremely vocal dissenters even petitioned for it to be removed from franchise canon. Luckily for those who did like what Rian Johnson did with the material, Episode IX won't try to course-correct after the backlash. Abrams submitted his Star Wars 9 pitch the day Last Jedi opened in theaters, and he liked Johnson's direction.

Read More: Star Wars Doesn't Need To Course-Correct After Last Jedi

Star Wars 9 Will End The Skywalker Saga

For more than 40 years, the Skywalker saga has defined the Star Wars franchise. Even the non-movie canon materials like novels and comics can be traced back to the story of the galaxy's most infamous family. That's what makes it such a big deal that Episode IX is the last episode of this saga. That bit of information was confirmed in Lucasfilm's press release, suggesting they're moving on to new horizons once this film comes out.

Read More: Star Wars 9 Being The End Is The Best Thing For the Franchise

J.J. Abrams Wrote Drafts For Star Wars 8 and 9

Much like the original trilogy, Lucasfilm did not map out a full story for the sequels, but that didn't stop Abrams from trying. In the earliest days of development, the Force Awakens helmsman wrote out drafts for the plot of next two entries in the sequel trilogy, but according to Daisy Ridley, Johnson discarded them when he started writing Star Wars: The Last Jedi. We may never know what Abrams' idea was.

Read More: J.J. Abrams Wrote Drafts For Star Wars 8 and 9

Star Wars 9 Is John Williams' Last Star Wars Movie

Besides George Lucas, there is arguably nobody more important to Star Wars' success than John Williams. The legendary composer's music is an integral ingredient of the films, giving us some of the most memorable themes in cinema. He's scored all of the saga episodes and will return for Episode IX. Williams has hinted this will be his last go-around in the faraway galaxy, feeling that nine is more than enough for him.

Read More: John Williams Retiring from Star Wars After Episode 9

J.J. Abrams Is Directing Star Wars 9

Abrams will get to finish what he started, coming on to helm Star Wars: Episode IX after Lucasfilm parted ways with original director Colin Trevorrow. Hired for the job in 2015, Trevorrow left the project in the fall of 2017 (just months after Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired from Solo) due to creative differences. There was a point in time when Abrams was hesitant to helm one Star Wars movie, but now he'll become the only director not named George Lucas to make two.

Read More: J.J. Abrams Was The Best Choice for Star Wars 9

Star Wars 9's Second Unit Director Is An Historic Hire

While the modern Star Wars films have been some of the most successful in the last few years, many viewers have criticized the franchise for a lack of diversity behind the camera. A majority of Star Wars creatives are white men, but that changes with Episode IX. It's been announced Victoria Mahoney, a black female, will be the film's second unit director.

Read More: Star Wars 9 Adds Black Female Second Unit Director

Colin Trevorrow's Star Wars 9 Pitch Made Daisy Ridley Cry

Since Trevorrow was taken off of Episode IX well before Star Wars: The Last Jedi opened, specifics of his vision were never publicly revealed. The closest we got was an anecdote from SNL's Bobby Moynihan, who watched Trevorrow pull Ridley aside to spell out his pitch to her. Apparently, what Trevorrow had in mind was so emotional, it made Ridley cry. Jurassic World was criticized for its flat narrative, but perhaps this could have turned out differently.

Read More: Trevorrow's Episode 9 Pitch Made Daisy Ridley Cry

Star Wars 9 Is Written By J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio

When Abrams signed on to direct, it was also announced he'd be co-writing the script with Chris Terrio. This was the fourth attempt at a screenplay for the film, following multiple stabs by Trevorrow and then Jack Thorne. Terrio has gained infamy for his involvement on Batman V Superman and Justice League, but given the circumstances (especially in the case of the latter), it's hard to fully hold those against him. Terrio also won an Oscar for Ben Affleck's Argo, illustrating he has talent.

Read More: Chris Terrio Is The Perfect Fit For Star Wars 9

Star Wars 9 Is Now In Production

When Trevorrow was in charge, Star Wars: Episode IX was scheduled to begin production in January 2018, but the change in creative team forced Lucasfilm to alter those plans. After giving Abrams and Terrio ample time to write a new script, the studio commenced production in August 2018, well ahead of the holiday 2019 premiere.

Read More: J.J. Abrams Confirms Star Wars 9 Starts Filming

Star Wars 9 Has No Trailer

Since the film hasn't begun shooting yet, it's no surprise there's no preview for it. A teaser likely won't be released until April 2019, keeping in line with the marketing strategies for Force Awakens and Last Jedi. Lucasfilm has another Star Wars Celebration planned for next year, so an Episode IX trailer could be the centerpiece of the event.

Read More: When Will The Star Wars 9 Trailer Release?

Star Wars 9 Has No Poster

If there's no trailer, there's also no poster. Star Wars has traditionally released those two marketing items in tandem. Like the first teaser, we're predicting the first poster will debut in April 2019, possibly at Celebration (if that's when it takes place).

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