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​"Star Wars: Episode IX" gets a director

Colin Trevorrow, who directed the summer blockbuster "Jurassic World," will direct "Star Wars: Episode IX," the concluding film of the new "Star Wars" trilogy.

Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn made the announcement Saturday at Disney's D23 Fan Expo in Anaheim, Calif.

Trevorrow's first film, the 2012 time travel comedy "Safety Not Guaranteed," won screenwriting awards at the Sundance Film Festival and the Independent Spirit Awards. He followed that with "Jurassic World," a relaunch of the sci-fi series, which became the third highest-grossing movie ever.

"Colin is someone I've been interested in working with ever since I saw 'Safety Not Guaranteed,'" said Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. "The power of that film paired with the enormous success of 'Jurassic World' speaks volumes about his abilities both as a storyteller and skilled filmmaker. We are thrilled to have such an incredible talent as Colin join our family and step into the 'Star Wars' universe."

"This is not a job or an assignment; it is a seat at a campfire, surrounded by an extraordinary group of storytellers, filmmakers, artists and craftspeople," Trevorrow said. "We've been charged with telling new stories for a younger generation because they deserve what we all had -- a mythology to call their own. We will do this by channeling something George Lucas instilled in all of us: boundless creativity, pure invention and hope."

"Episode IX" is set for release in 2019.

"Episode VII: The Force Awakens" will open on December 18. "Episode VIII" is currently being scripted by director Rian Johnson ("Looper").

Lucasfilm also announced today that principal photography has begun on the first stand-alone "Star Wars Anthology" film, "Rogue One." Directed by Gareth Edwards ("Godzilla," "Monsters"), it tells of the rebel alliance's efforts to steal the plans of the Death Star. It is scheduled for release on December 16, 2016.

Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna, Felicity Jones, Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen starring in "Rogue One." Jonathan Olley/© Lucasfilm

The cast includes Felicity Jones ("The Theory of Everything"), Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker ("The Last King of Scotland"), Ben Mendelsohn ("Bloodline"), Mads Mikkelsen ("Hannibal"), Riz Ahmed ("Nightcrawler"), Diego Luna ("Killing Them Softly"), Alan Tudyk (the upcoming "Trumbo") Jiang Wen ("Let the Bullets Fly"), and Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen ("Ip Man").

And there should be no qualms that the film won't be gritty enough, dealing as it does with spies stealing military plans. The cinematographer is Greig Fraser ("Zero Dark Thirty," "Foxcatcher"), and the special effects supervisor is Neil Corbould ("Black Hawk Down," "Saving Private Ryan").

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