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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

'Episode VIII' Pushed Back to December 2017

The Force Awakens left many questions unanswered, and through the chaos of Internet debates and fan theories, there was a silver lining: Episode VIII would be coming in May 26, 2017, in less than a year and a half from The Force Awakens's release. Now we can scratch that: Disney and Lucasfilm announced today that Episode VIII will instead be released on December 15, 2017. Disney's other major release of that summer, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, has been moved to the May release date. 
So what does that mean, besides that we're gonna have to wait another 7 months? Well, something must have gone a little wrong in the film's production. It was scheduled to begin filming this month in England, but we can assume that's changed now. Locations will include Pinewood Studios in London, and some pre-production filming took place in September on the island of Skellig Michael, where the final scenes in The Force Awakens took place. (That's right, all those stone steps were actually built between the 6th and 8th century as a Christian monastery.) 
Most of the major characters from The Force Awakens will be returning (except for Han Solo, probably). Oscar winner Benicio Del Toro confirmed in September that he will be playing a villain in the film, though it's unknown how he will be related to Kylo, Snoke, and the rest of the First Order. Additionally, Tatiana Maslany, Gina Rodriguez, Olivia Cooke, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Bel Powley have all been rumored to be in contention for at least one new female role. 

If there's one thing to be thankful for, it's that the two years between Episodes VII and VIII is still less than the usual 3 years between Star Wars movies. And Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is coming in December 2016, which isn't as exciting but still something a little sooner to look forward to. May the Force be with you all.  

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