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J.J. Abrams
J.J. Abrams arrives at the 32nd annual Artios Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

J.J. Abrams will direct ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’ and close out the trilogy


J.J. Abrams will serve as the director of "Star Wars: Episode IX" and complete the beloved science fiction series’ ongoing sequel trilogy, according to StarWars.com.

“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 in a statement Tuesday.

Kennedy’s statement said Abrams will also as a producer on Episode IX and co-write the film with Chris Terrio.

"Episode IX" will also give Kennedy a producer credit, as well as Michelle Rejwan, Lucasfilm and Bad Robot.

Abrams launched the current trilogy of "Star Wars" films with the release of "Episode VII: The Force Awakens" in 2015.

Director Rian Johnson is helming the trio’s middle entry – "Episode VIII: The Last Jedi" ahead of its Dec. 15, 2017 release date.

"Episode IX" is scheduled for release in 2019, and Abrams’ addition to the project follows former director Colin Trevorrow’s exit last week.

“Lucasfilm and Colin Trevorrow have mutually chosen to part ways on ‘Star Wars: Episode IX,’” Disney said in a statement.

“Colin has been a wonderful collaborator throughout the development process but we have all come to the conclusion that our visions for the project differ,” the statement added.

Trevorrow was attached to "Episode IX" in 2015 following the success of "Jurassic World" at the box office.

The director’s most recent film, "The Book of Henry," was a commercial and critical flop, and he next has a writing credit on the upcoming sequel "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom."

The "Star Wars" franchise launched in 1977 with the release of "Episode IV: A New Hope" and the epic space opera has since become a massive force in popular culture.

The series has since become a sprawling media phenomenon with entries in books, computer and video game and television.

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