Mark your calendar: Star Wars Episode VII release date officially confirmed!

After months of rumor and speculation, the release date for Star Wars Episode VII has been officially nailed down by Disney and Lucasfilm.

The movie, which does not have a "chapter title" yet, will arrive on Dec. 18, 2015, according to a press release issued earlier today. This confirms the many reports that have circulated that indicated that the film could be pushed back from what was assumed to be a summer arrival. 

This will also mark the first time that a Star Wars movie has not opened during the summer movie season.

Disney chairman Alan Horn said, "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."

The official release date also follows an earlier report that Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy had gone to the man at the very top of the Disney executive chain, Robert Iger, and had asked for the movie to come out in 2016. Iger said no to that, but the December release is apparently a compromise position for both sides.

This also moves Star Wars out of a crazy summer 2015 schedule that already includes The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Batman vs. Superman, Jurassic World, Terminator 5, Independence Day 2 and more.

J.J. Abrams is scheduled to start shooting the movie in spring 2014 at Pinewood Studios in London, from a script by himself and Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back). There's still no official word on a cast or storyline.

Do you think this gives Abrams and his team the time they need to get the script and the movie right? Or are you bummed that we'll have to wait six more months for Star Wars Episode VII?

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