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When will Star Wars: Episode IX be released? Release date, cast, crew, plot details, theories, and everything else you need to know about the next installment; Rounding up all the information we can on the trilogy-capper.

Byline: Lewis Knight

So the latest installment of the world's biggest sci-fi franchise, The Last Jedi. caused ructions in the Star Wars fandom as one of the more controversial entries into the saga. But as the dust settles after the film's cataclysmic events, where will the sequel trilogy go next as it reaches what is sure to be an epic conclusion?

SPOILERS FOR THE LAST JEDI WITHIN

When is it out?

The film is scheduled for release on December 20, 2019. We have quite the wait on our hands!

What's it called?

We currently have no subtitle for Episode XI, but if it is anything like The Last Jedi then we won't know the title until early 2019.

Who is directing?

Despite initially announced as the director, Jurassic World's Colin Trevorrow stepped down last year and was replaced by the safe hands of the director of The Force Awakens, J.J. Abrams.

Who is writing the script?

Acclaimed screenwriter and playwright Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) has taken over the reins from the departed Trevorrow and co-writer Derek Connolly.

Who is in it?

So far only the major players have been confirmed to return.

Daisy Ridley will return as Jedi Knight and former scavenger Rey, who has taken over fight for the light side of the force from one-time tutor, Luke Skywalker.

Adam Driver will return as Kylo Ren/Ben Solo, who after the events of the last film is now the Supreme Leader of the villainous First Order.

John Boyega is also back as former stormtrooper and resistance hero Finn, who barely escaped death in the last film.

Oscar Isaac's Poe Dameron is back for more swashbuckling, what with him being the best star pilot in the galaxy.

Also expected to return are Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico, Finn's new friend from the last film, along with series stalwarts C3-PO, played by mainstay Anthony Daniels, and Chewbacca, now played once more by Joonas Suotamo.

Expect to see other droid favourites R2-D2 and BB-8 back too!

Who may be in it?

Despite meeting his maker at the end of The Last Jedi, many are expecting Mark Hamill to make a final appearance as a force-ghost version of Luke Skywalker, akin to Frank Oz's Yoda in the last film.

Domnhall Gleeson has expressed uncertainty over returning as the humorously despicable General Hux in the next installment, but who else is Kylo Ren going to bark orders to?

Black Panther star and Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong'o may also return as ancient pirate and Resistance-ally Maz Kanata.

Benicio Del Toro could also make a comeback as the treacherous convict, DJ.

Who won't be returning?

After her tragic death in 2016, Disney has confirmed that The Last Jedi is Carrie Fisher's final appearance as General Leia Organa in the Star Wars franchise. There are no plans to recreate her appearance digitally in Episode IX, as with Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One. We do, however, expect a touching form of tribute to the iconic heroine in the next film.

In addition to Fisher's Leia, there were a number of characters killed off in The Last Jedi.

We likely won't be seeing Andy Serkis' controversially enigmatic Supreme Leader Snoke, Gwendoline Christie's chrome Captain Phasma, or Laura Dern's quietly heroic Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

What's the plot?

At this stage, we know very little about the plot. However, we do expect the film to wrap up the central storylines of the sequel trilogy.

The main crux of the film will likely be the final battle between the Resistance and the First Order, with Rey fighting on the side of good with her strong powers of the force against Supreme Leader Kylo Ren's dastardly forces, despite their complex connection in The Last Jedi.

Also, expect the stories of the core characters to be neatly wrapped up at the film's conclusion.

Theories and speculation

As usual with a Star Wars release, intense speculation accompanies it, and here are a few for your consideration...

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If Episode IX is anything like The Last Jedi though, then expect the unexpected and for theories to be blown out of the water, as with Rey's parentage and Snoke's identity.

Rest assured, we will be keeping our eyes peeled for all Star Wars related news!

CAPTION(S):

Credit: Lucas Film

Daisy Ridley's heroic Rey

Credit: Lucas Film

Will Adam Driver keep his top on in the next film?

Credit: Lucas Film

John Boyega's Finn is a survivor

Credit: Copyright: 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. & aaAcents, All Rights Reserved.

The dearly departed to return?

Credit: Lucas Film

The much-missed Carrie Fisher

Credit: Lucas Film

Finn and Phasma's final confrontation

Credit: Lucas Film

The final battle is surely coming
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Title Annotation:TV,TV News
Publication:Daily Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 15, 2018
Words:808
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