star wars, episode ix, episode 9, release date, december 2019After a tumultuous week in the "Star Wars" universe, there's been yet another disturbance in the Force: "Episode IX" is getting pushed back from its original May 24, 2019 release date to December 2019.

The delayed premiere date -- which was announced on the official "Star Wars" social media accounts -- wasn't entirely unexpected, since original "Episode IX" director Colin Trevorrow was fired from the flick last week, leaving Disney and Lucasfilm scrambling to find a replacement. And while J.J. Abrams, who helmed "The Force Awakens," was named as Trevorrow's successor this morning, it seems that he and new co-screenwriter Chris Terrio will still need some significant time to regroup following this latest shakeup.

Of course, this is a situation Abrams already knows well, since "The Force Awakens" was also delayed from a projected May 2015 release date to its ultimate December 2015 bow. But that scenario had more to do with shooting delays caused by Harrison Ford's on-set injury than behind the scenes squabbles over creative control.

The "Episode IX" kerfuffle is just the latest in a recent string of bad luck for the historic franchise, which has already parted ways with a different set of directors earlier this year (Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who were unceremoniously dumped only weeks away from completing the upcoming Han Solo spinoff flick). And there were also plenty of rumors swirling about the extensive reshoots required for 2016 spinoff "Rogue One," with director Tony Gilroy reportedly stepping in for director Gareth Edwards.

This news isn't entirely terrible, though. As he proved with "The Force Awakens," Abrams knows how to use extra time to his advantage. We're confident this newest change will ultimately be for the better.

"Star Wars: Episode IX" is now due to hit theaters on December 20, 2019.