Directing Star Wars Episode IX

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Who would you like to see direct Star Wars: Episode IX?

In a statement, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said she was "excited" to welcome Abrams back to the iconic sci-fi franchise, after he previously helmed Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

While Johnson was a top pick for the directing spot, fans have also voiced their thoughts on The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams returning to finish out the franchise.

Last week, director Colin Trevorrow and Lucasfilm parted company on the upcoming Star Wars: Episode IX.

Alex Osborn is a freelance writer for IGN. First up is The Last Jedi, which opens on December 15.

Trevorrow's departure was seen as a significant upheaval as he is considered hot property after scoring big with Universal's creature feature "Jurassic World" (2015), the fourth-highest grossing movie of all time. Johnson is now in Tokyo, Japan promoting the The Last Jedi, and according to Star Wars News Net, the director revealed at a recent fan event that his good friend, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, has a voice acting role in the upcoming Star Wars movie.

Now comes the news though that he's the latest director to be attached to a Star Wars film, and then not get to make it.

In addition to pressure from fans and stakeholders "Episode IX" also has the added responsibility of dealing with the unexpected death of Princess Leia actress Carrie Fisher late past year - after her work had been completed on "The Last Jedi". Johnson's name had been mentioned by sources close to Lucasfilm as a potential candidate to direct Episode IX, which is still scheduled to begin shooting early next year.

Oscar-winning director Ron Howard was brought in to oversee the remainder of the film's production.

While he's not explicitly ruled himself out, it doesn't sound like taking on the next episode in the Star Wars story is even on Johnson's radar. With the success, both financially and critically, of The Force Awakens this good for not only the fans but for business as well.

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