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J.J. Abrams Explains Why He Returned For Star Wars: Episode IX

It's common knowledge that J.J. Abrams likes to revisit things, but he definitely didn't plan to direct the final installment of the Star Wars trilogy he started.

Abrams directed 2015's The Force Awakens, but he stepped away for The Last Jedi. The original plan for 2019's Episode IX was for Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow to helm the third chapter of the trilogy, but Lucasfilm announced back in September that Trevorrow and the studio had "mutually" decided to part ways.

While there was speculation that The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson would take over, Lucasfilm quickly revealed that Abrams would write and direct the movie. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Abrams explained what drew him back.

"I had no intention to return," Abrams said. "But when the opportunity presented itself to finish a story that we had begun with these new characters, to tell the last chapter of their story, it felt like there was a chance to do it in a way where we could go beyond, and do better than we did in [The Force Awakens]. I learned so much in that movie and I saw that this was a chance to sort of realize something that we hadn't quite achieved–and part of that was it was simply the beginning of these new characters and their story. The opportunity to sort of take what we had learned, to take the feeling of who these characters are and what they are and give them a final chapter that felt in the spirit of what we begun? It was too delicious of an opportunity to pass up."

Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey in the new trilogy, said when she heard the news, she literally cried tears of joy.

"Everyone was saying it was going to be Rian and everything, so I was genuinely quite surprised," Ridley said. "And was like, 'Oh my God!' and I started crying immediately with three people in the office. And they were like, 'What the f*** just happened?' So I e-mailed J.J. saying, 'Oh my God, I am crying.' And he goes, 'Oh my God, me too.'"

Meanwhile, Rian Johnson has been given what might be an even bigger opportunity. He's writing an entirely new Star Wars trilogy that will be set in a previously unexplored corner of the galaxy and feature new characters.