Yesterday, Lucasfilm announced that Episode IX’s release has been delayed from May 2019 to December 20th 2019, following in the line of its predecessor’s Christmas releases.
This announcement isn’t necessarily a surprise, given a week ago Lucasfilm fired Colin Trevorrow as director on Episode IX, and just a day ago they announced that his replacement would be The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams.
On top of this, there are also rumours circulating that the film needs to be re-written after the tragic passing of star Carrie Fisher. Leia Organa was said to be playing a significant role in Episode IX, and though she may still appear thanks to pre-recorded footage, obviously her death will mean that her role is likely to be less significant.
Five years ago, Disney paid $4 billion for the rights to Star Wars, and while Episode IX is meant to be the conclusion to the nine-part Star Wars saga, there’s a strong chance that this will lay the groundwork for spinoff films and merchandising opportunities for years to come.