NEW YORK (AP) – J.J. Abrams is returning to “Star Wars,” and will replace Colin Trevorrow as writer and director of “Episode IX.”

Disney announced Abrams return on Tuesday. After several high-profile exits by previous “Star Wars” directors, Lucasfilm is turning to the filmmaker who helped resurrect the franchise in the first place.

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As the director of “The Force Awakens,” Abrams rebooted “Star Wars” to largely glowing reviews from fans and more than $2 billion in box office. Abrams had said that would be his only film for the franchise, but he’s now been pulled back in.

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Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said that Abrams “delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for” on “The Force Awakens” and added “I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy.”

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