'Star Wars: Episode IX' Touted as a Course-Correction, Seems Unnecessary

After what some view as a rocky few years for the Star Wars franchise, Lucasfilm is reportedly relying a great deal on director J.J. Abrams to steer the ship in a better direction with Star Wars: Episode IX, even labeling it as a “course correction.” But does a franchise that grossed $1.71 billion at the box office with two movies in the last year really need to do better? Executives at Lucasfilm apparently think so.

Variety reported on Friday that Episode IX “has been billed as a course correction at Lucasfilm after spinoff films like Solo failed to meet the label’s high commercial expectations.” This comes according to an unnamed “Hollywood insider.”

Variety also reported that J.J. Abrams is being courted by several big studios regarding a “supernova-sized deal that would encompass films, television series, digital content, music, games, consumer products, and theme park opportunities.”

Essentially, Abrams is seeking an exclusive deal with a studio like Disney, Universal, or Warner Bros. to the tune of $500 million that would include every form of media imaginable.

What could that mean for Star Wars? It could mean that Abrams will attach to the Star Wars franchise for years to come — or abandon it entirely.

J.J. Abrams directing Daisy Ridley on the set of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'.
J.J. Abrams directing Daisy Ridley on the set of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'.

After Abrams finishes his current projects, Episode IX included, he’ll probably focus entirely on whatever mega-deal closes in the coming months. If that’s not with Disney, then we might never see another Abrams Star Wars movie ever again. But if he signs with Disney, then it could mean Abrams might get his own Star Wars trilogy akin to what happened with Rian Johnson — or maybe he’ll be tapped to helm some future Marvel movies.

The possibilities are endless, and Abrams might even have ambitions to create an entirely new kind of cinematic universe himself. But first thing’s first: Abrams has to make Star Wars: Episode IX a film that fans, critics, and the executives at Lucasfilm are all into.

'Star Wars: Episode IX'
When will we finally learn the title of 'Star Wars: Episode IX'?

In June, rumors emerged that all of the potential Star Wars spin-offs were put on hold, including a solo Obi-Wan Kenobi movie and a Boba Fett movie. More recently in late October, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy confirmed that the Boba Fett movie was “100% dead.”

So now it’s up to J.J. Abrams and the upcoming Episode IX to set things straight for Star Wars.

Star Wars: Episode IX is scheduled for release on December 20, 2019.

Media via Lucasfilm