Who will direct Star Wars Episode IX? Vegas reveals the betting odds

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Sep 6, 2017

Once again, Lucasfilm has removed a director from a Star Wars film. After booting Chris Miller and Phil Lord from the Han Solo spinoff this summer, and sidelining Gareth Edwards for big reshoots and edits on last winter's Rogue One, the latest forsaken filmmaker is Colin Trevorrow, who will no longer be at the helm of the untitled Episode IX.

By now we know the drill: Lucasfilm releases a statement (or not, in the case of Edwards), fans speculate as trade reporters scramble for insight, and then a few days later, a new director is named. Now there's a new wrinkle in the process: During that speculating phase, people can put their money where their fan theories are by placing bets on who will fill the biggest job opening in the galaxy.

Raphael Esparza works for Doc Sports and My Bookie, and lays out lines on not only sports, but pop culture events as well. He's put odds on various Game of Thrones twists, and even Rey's parentage. "We need Luke Skywalker not to be Rey’s father, because we took a lot of bets on that," he told SYFY WIRE, laughing. "We’ll lose money."

After spending all night reading up on the Star Wars news and talking with his Hollywood sources, Esparaza laid out for SYFY Wire the odds he'll be posting later. 

Rian Johnson (+250) — "He’s the favorite, with him finishing The Last Jedi. And, he had a tweet saying he’d be ready to go if needed. Rian Johnson is +250, so if you put up $100, you’ll get $250."

Ron Howard (+375) 

Lawrence Kasdan (5-1) — "He wrote The Force Awakens and he said he’d be available, if he got some help."

J.J. Abrams (7-1) — "People will probably think that’s kind of high, but I don’t think I’d go to him for this spot. What I read all evening long is that they’re not in a hurry to make an announcement, because they could always push back the release May to December 2019. And if The Last Jedi does big numbers, which I’m sure it will, that could happen."

Joe Johnston (12-1) — "He did Captain America: The First Avenger, and is a Star Wars legend."

Patty Jenkins (20-1) — "She’s red-hot because she did Wonder Woman, and I’ve read that Star Wars IX will have a lot of female themes, with Rey becoming a full-fledged Jedi."

Matt Reeves (26-1) — "He did Cloverfield, so he’s J.J. Abrams boy, and has great experience with visual effects. I think he’s a steal, and you might hear his name bubble up."

Ava DuVernay (40-1) — "Her name popped up a lot because she did A Wrinkle in Time. She would add a female influence that I think Star Wars IX will have. She should be around 50-1 or 60-1, because I feel like if any female director had a shot, it’d be Patty Jenkins, but I bet a lot of Ava’s fans would be into it."

Ryan Coogler (75-1) — "He did Black Panther for Disney, and if they’re not trying to make a big splash right now, he could be a great choice."

Denis Villeneuve (150-1) — "Let’s say Blade Runner 2049 blows it out of the water, that would make it a great steal for both Lucasfilm and bettors. But that’s so far back, they’d have to wait."

Steven Spielberg (165-1) —  "He was supposed to do Return of the Jedi, but couldn’t due to Director’s Guild rules. He should be the same number as the last spot, 250-1, but everyone knows who he is and didn’t want to get burned."

Christopher Nolan (200-1) — "I don’t think he’s going to do it, but it’s fun for watercooler talk."

George Lucas (250-1)