‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ confirmed for December 18, 2015

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There’s nothing particularly complicated here, so we’ll just tell you straight out: Star Wars: Episode VII is officially confirmed to be hit theaters on Friday, December 18, 2015. The J.J. Abrams-directed sequel – and the first Star Wars under a Lucasfilm-owned Disney’s rule – was previously confirmed for a summer 2015 release, and many had assumed it would be May 2015 since May is when Star Wars movies are supposed to come out.

Not anymore, apparently. “We’re very excited to share the official 2015 release date for Star Wars: Episode VII, where it will not only anchor the popular holiday filmgoing season but also ensure our extraordinary filmmaking team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture,” Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said in a prepared statement, presumably while he had an ignited lightsaber clutched in his hand (that’s how we choose to read it).

The news comes only weeks after Disney confirmed the departure of writer Michael Arndt, with Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan (writer of Empire Strikes Back) taking over the scripting duties. Production is set to kick off on the movie at the U.K.’s Pinewood Studios in spring 2014. There’s been no word from Abrams or anyone else on the direction being taken with the upcoming sequel, though it’s been confirmed that it will be based on a treatment written by series creator George Lucas.

Check out our roundup of all the Star Wars news and rumors for more info.