Star Wars: Episode IX, the final entry in the original Star Wars saga, has been pushed back to Dec. 20, 2019, Lucasfilm and Disney announced today.
That represents a delay of about seven months — earlier this year, the companies had set a premiere date of May 24, 2019. It makes sense, considering that they just announced the hiring of J.J. Abrams to replace ousted director Colin Trevorrow. Abrams is co-writing Episode IX with Chris Terrio, who won an Oscar for writing Argo.
The new date will put the release of Episode IX a full two years after its immediate predecessor, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which hits theaters on Dec. 15, 2017 — two years after Abrams’ previous entry in the franchise, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Uniting these three films with December premieres will set apart the new trilogy from the preceding six entries in the Star Wars franchise, all of which had May release dates. Shifting Episode IX out of May 2019 is fine for Disney, which still has an untitled sequel to Avengers: Infinity War scheduled for May 3, 2019.
Production on Episode IX was set to begin in January 2018, although the film’s delay may also include a corresponding delay to the start of production. We’ll update this article with any additional details.