Star Wars Episode IX: 'We have a script,' says J.J. Abrams

The final film in the sequel trilogy will begin filming at the end of July for its planned 2019 release.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" has been out for more than two months now. It's time for Star Wars fans to turn their obsession to the final film in the sequel trilogy, the film known only as "Star Wars: Episode IX."

J.J. Abrams, who directed 2015's "The Force Awakens," is returning to direct Episode IX. He appeared on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" on Wednesday night with good news for fans.

"We have a script, which is a big deal for me," Abrams told Colbert, adding that the film will begin shooting at the end of July. "Having a script in advance is something we haven't always been lucky enough to have. But I'm writing this with [screenwriter] Chris Terrio who's a genius and I'm having a great time."

Abrams said he knows all too well how important the film series is to many, and that fan reaction can be harsh. 

"Being back for Episode IX is as surreal as it gets, and really exciting," he said. "As scary as it is to put yourself in [front of] that firing squad, the opportunity is always bigger than the fear."

"Star Wars: Episode IX" is scheduled for a Dec. 20, 2019 release.

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