2:40 pm EST, January 20, 2016

‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ release date pushed 7 months back

Disney has announced that Star Wars: Episode VIII, the yet-to-be-titled sequel to The Force Awakens, will open seven months later than planned.

Previously set to bow May 26, 2017, Star Wars: Episode VIII will now open December 15, 2017. The studio also announced today that principal photography will begin next month.

Disney did not reveal exactly why they’re moving the opening date, but it could come down to one (or both) of these reasons: 1) Following the success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ December 2015 box office, Disney has decided they want to use the holiday slot for Star Wars for the rest of eternity, or 2) Disney, Lucasfilm, and director Rian Johnson need more time to get the film just right.

On point #2, The Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit tweeted that recent rumors of rewrites — which are said to be underway to add more of Rey, Poe, and Finn to the story — are correct:

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Now that that summer date is open, Disney is also moving Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales to May 26, 2017. It was previously scheduled for July 2017.

The Force Awakens was also originally set for a May premiere date, but as you may remember, Disney delayed it because J.J. Abrams needed more time. While it caused a bit of controversy amongst fans due to the fact that George Lucas’ Star Wars movies always opened on a summer date, the decision ended up being for the best.

If you need your Star Wars fill, you need not fret: the first spinoff movie titled Rogue One hits theaters at the end of this year. You can also watch the excellent animated TV series Star Wars Rebels!

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