Skip to main content

Disney delays Star Wars: Episode VIII, replaces it with Jack Sparrow

Star Wars The Force Awakens
Disney
Disney has given Star Wars fans a lot to love this year, but an announcement Wednesday will likely be much less well-received: The studio has elected to delay the theatrical release of Star Wars: Episode VIII, pushing it back from its previously scheduled May 26, 2017 berth to December 15, 2017. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will take over the film’s original slot.

The studio didn’t explain the reasoning behind the move, but we suspect that the titanic success of Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens may have been a primary factor. The film opened in U.S. theaters on December 18 to much fanfare, breaking all-time domestic box office records in less than a month. Why would Disney want to mess with a good thing?

The move also frees up a very desirable date for another one of the studio’s wildly popular franchises. Dead Men Tell No Tales was previously set for July 7, 2017, but now it’ll have the chance to open over Memorial Day weekend. The new berth should position the Johnny Depp-starrer for even greater box office success without drastically shortening its post-production phase. The film has already entered that stage, whereas Episode VIII is still in pre-production.

Star Wars fans may not be crazy about having to wait almost seven more months for the next installment in the current trilogy, but there is a silver lining: The extra time will hopefully ensure that director Rian Johnson has all the time he needs to put together a satisfying follow-up to JJ Abrams’ excellent revitalization of the franchise. There’s no reason to think he wouldn’t (after all, J.J. Abrams reportedly loved his script), but more time can’t hurt. Furthermore, with spin-off Rogue One: A Star Wars Story set for December 16, 2016, we’ll have something to tide us over.

The hope for Star Wars fans of all shapes and sizes is that pre-production troubles had no bearing on the date swap.

As if the wait wasn’t long enough already, this is a pretty big push for a film of this magnitude. The “Good things come…” proverb may be the only solace for Star Wars mega fans at this moment — that and the reprieve offered by Rogue One on Dec 16.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephanie Topacio Long
Stephanie Topacio Long is a writer and editor whose writing interests range from business to books. She also contributes to…
The 10 best Star Wars action scenes, ranked
Luke Skywalker faces Darth Vade in The Empire Strikes Back.

If there's one thing that Star Wars does better than any other space opera, it's action. Since the debut of the original Star Wars film in 1977, the franchise has continuously upped its action game and put other franchises to shame. This week, the legacy continues with Ahsoka, a new Star Wars spinoff series heading to Disney+. If the trailers are any indication, fans are in for more lightsaber action and intrigue.

When considering the greatest action scenes in Star Wars, we decided that everything in the movies, the live-action series, and the animated series was fair game. However, the franchise's epic space battles have been left out of this list because we wanted to focus on the more visceral action scenes between two or more characters. After all, that is where the greatest drama can be found, as you'll soon see in our roundup of the 10 best Star Wars action scenes.
10. Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Anakin Skywalker in Revenge of the Sith

Read more
The best female Star Wars characters, ranked
Rosario Dawson in The Mandalorian.

Although it's gotten better in recent years, the world of Star Wars has been traditionally dominated by men. Men have, for the most part, been the main characters of these stories, and, stereotypically at least, been the biggest fans of the franchise. All along, though, Star Wars has had compelling female characters that were well worth rooting for or vilifying.

While the full list of important female Star Wars characters is quite long, we've narrowed this list down to the nine who are the most pivotal in franchise history and ranked them.
9. Asajj Ventress

Read more
All the canceled Star Wars movies
Rey Finn Poe Chewie and C-3PO in the desert in "Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker."

These days, Star Wars is just getting more and more projects. While the franchise continues to expand with shows on Disney+, there hasn't been a new movie made since 2019's The Rise of Skywalker. Given that Disney spent a while figuring out what it wanted to do with the iconic sci-fi property, many films had been announced, only for most of them to get blasted off the company calendar.

But with three new films confirmed to be on the horizon, now is the time to catch up on all the Star Wars films that never came to be.
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron

Read more