The Walt Disney Company and Lucasfilm announced a major upcoming release date today. Star Wars: Episode IX is now set for release on May 24, 2019. Directed by Colin Trevorrow, the film will close out the third Star Wars trilogy. No cast members have been announced for this Star Wars sequel at this time, but this confirms that Disney is committed to bringing the Star Wars franchise back to its roots with a May release.
After Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rogue One and the upcoming The Last Jedi were all set for release in December, many fans were still hoping that the franchise would eventually shift back to a summer release, since all six Star Wars movies that have come before were all released in mid to late May. That tradition will be upheld next year when Han Solo: A Star Wars Story will be released on May 25, 2018, which marks the exact 41st anniversary of A New Hope, followed by Star Wars: Episode IX's release on May 24, 2019. There has long been talk of a third spin-off, reportedly set for 2020, which is said to center on either Obi-Wan Kenobi or Boba Fett, but the studio hasn't confirmed that project yet.
The announcement on StarWars.com didn't come with any official details about the sci-fi sequel quite yet, but we may be getting some more on this project quite soon. Kathleen Kennedy revealed in an interview that they are preparing for the first Star Wars 9 table read, which will bring the entire cast in to read the script for the first time. Naturally, no cast members have been confirmed yet, but you may recall that fans first learned about the Star Wars: The Force Awakens cast through a photo taken at the table read, so perhaps that tradition could be started once again for Star Wars 9.
Even though the movie is more than two years out, Star Wars: Episode IX already has some competition in its new release date. Warner Bros. has set its Minecraft adaptation for release on that date, while Universal has also set their untitled Doctor Dolittle project, starring Robert Downey Jr., in that slot. Still, don't be surprised if both of these movies eventually vacate this date, which marks the start of Memorial Day weekend in 2019. This new release date could also mean that Star Wars Celebration will be bumped up to an earlier date, since it traditionally takes place in mid-April. LucasFilm is skipping out on holding a Star Wars Celebration this year, with the convention returning in 2019, although an exact date and location hasn't been given yet.
Earlier this month, a report surfaced that claimed director Colin Trevorrow would start production this summer, and while no cast members have been officially confirmed yet, LucasFilm did reveal that the late Carrie Fisher's character Leia Organa will not return. There had been rumors that the actress would be digitally re-created, after her untimely death in December, much like how Peter Cushing was digitally re-created as Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. While the studio rarely responds to press rumors, LucasFilm issued a definitive statement revealing that Carrie Fisher will not be featured in Star Wars 9. With production supposedly starting in a few months, hopefully we'll have more official details soon. No one knows where the Skywalker saga will end up, but Episode 9 promises to answer that question.