After the exit of Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow from the untitled : Episode IX, speculation ran rampant as to who would take over the helm of the final Star Wars movie in the sequel trilogy.

The exit of Trevorrow from Episode IX and Phil Lord and Chris Miller from the untitled Han Solo anthology film meant that whoever would take over would most likely be someone that had a good relationship with, and whose idea of what a Star Wars film should be would be in line with their own (seemingly very specific) vision.

Many assumed that the gig would go to Episode VIII director , who has voiced how well he connects with Lucasfilm and what a great experience he’s had filming  on numerous occassions.

However, just yesterday, Johnson spoke out about how it was “never the plan” for him to direct Episode IX, and now, just a day later, Lucasfilm has confirmed that J.J. Abrams will instead be the director returning to a galaxy far, far away in the following statement from Kathleen Kennedy:

“With The Force Awakens, J.J. delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for, and I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy”

Abrams will also co-write the film with Chris Terrio, whose writing credits include the hit-film Argo, and the less well recieved Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Reactions on Abrams hiring will probably be a bit of a mixed bag (although definitely leaning more towards the positive side of things) as many praised his previous Star Wars outing, The Force Awakens, which became the highest grossing film of all time (at the U.S. Box Office, anyway).

Others however, critisced Abrams for seemingly rehashing A New Hope, a complaint that was also leveled against Abram when he reinvented another popular science-fiction franchise, Star Trek (specifically with the sequel Star Trek Into Darkness).

But whether you’re an Abrams fan or a hater, no one can deny that when it comes to directing Star Wars, the force is definitely strong with J.J.

The Star Wars galaxy returns to cinemas on December 15th with The Last Jedi