JJ Abrams, who launched the new era of Star Wars films with The Force Awakens in 2015, is returning to the series as writer and director of Star Wars: Episode IX.
“With The Force Awakens, JJ delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said.
“I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy.”
Abrams is replacing Colin Trevorrow, who dropped out of the film last month.
He left the director’s chair because he and Lucasfilm had differing “visions”, the company said.
Episode IX is expected to star Daisy Ridley and John Boyega and is due out in May 2019.
Rian Johnson is directing the second in the current trilogy, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which will be released this December.
Lucasfilm has a reputation for ruthlessness when it comes to hiring and firing directors. In 2015, Fantastic Four’s Josh Trank was dropped from directing a standalone Star Wars story.