It appears that Star Wars: Episode VIII has eased its light-speed production time out of hyperdrive into a later release date than originally planned. The next installment in the legendary franchise is now slated to release on December 15, 2017, about 2 years from last month’s release of Episode VII: The Force Awakens. It was first reported to open nationwide on May 26, 2017 during Memorial Day weekend but Disney decided to take a different route after the record breaking holiday numbers. The box office numbers speak for itself with a world wide total currently at $1.8 billion that is still climbing steadily.
With a vacant time slot, Disney decided to move Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales to the May 26th release date, which was set to open July 7th. The schedule shake up for the house of mouse allows its multiple tentpoles some breathing room from each other. Other Disney features that are set to release in the summer of 2017 include Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on May 5th and Cars 3 on June 16th.
J.J. Abrams will continue to produce Episode VIII with Rian Johnson (Looper) taking the directors chair. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac will all return, representing the new slew of characters integrated into the blockbuster franchise, along with veteran Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker.
Fans who are eager to get their Star Wars fix need not worry. The spinoff film Rogue One, which tells the story of Rebel fighters on a mission to steal plans for the creation of the Death Star, opens Dec. 16 2016.
The announcement of the change in release dates for Disney affected other competing studios as well. Sony moved Spider-Man from it’s July 28, 2017 opening to July 7, 2017. It also pushed back Jumanji from it’s Christmas day release this year to July 28, 2017.