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‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ Delayed to December 2017

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If you loved Star Wars: The Force Awakens and can’t wait for the adventures of Finn, Rey, and Poe to continue in Star Wars: Episode VIII, uh, you’re going to have to.

Disney announced today that the still-unsubtitled next chapter in the biggest freaking franchise in movie history is getting pushed back, from its planned May 26, 2017 release date to December 15, 2017. The press release from Disney says the move “follows the extraordinary success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was the first Star Wars movie to premiere in December.” (Traditionally, Star Wars was always an early summer affair.)

Not wanting to mess with success (The Force Awakens is already the highest grossing domestic release in movie history), Disney and Lucasfilm will continue that trend with Star Wars: Episode VIII — although, according to The Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit, there may be other reasons for the (slight) delay:

I know I certainly did, and if that’s the reason for the delay, it’s a good one. Even with all the classic characters back for The Force Awakens, it was the new ones that really stole the show. Rey, Finn, and Poe (and Kylo Ren!) deserve to be the focus of Episode VIII. They’re the future of the franchise, as well as the present.

In the meantime, the credits of the movie haven’t changed; Episode VIII is still being written and directed by Rian Johnson, and goes into production next month in London. And in more movie calendar news, the next Pirates of the CaribbeanDead Men Tell No Tales, will take Star Wars’ abandoned release date, moving up to May 26, 2017 from July 7, 2017.

Barring no further changes, Star Wars: Episode VIII will open on December 15, 2017 (potentially in serious competition with James Cameron’s Avatar 2). So, yeah, you’re going to have to wait to find out what happened on that mountaintop just a wee bit longer. Here’s what Rian Johnson tweeted about the news:

Yep. Christmas in the stars.

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