Star Wars: Episode VII Dated For December 18, 2015

And J.J. Abrams talks the scripting changes

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So now we know. After months of speculation, rumour, outright guesses and claims of knowledge, the official release date for Star Wars: Episode VII has been announced as December 18, 2015.

There has been plenty of chatter both about the proposed scheduling for the film and rumours that the filmmakers were concerned about getting the movie made on time if the delivery date was earlier in the year.

"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 film going season but also ensure our extraordinary filmmaking team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture," says Disney chairman Alan Horn in a statement on the official site. As casting continues, shooting will kick off in spring next year at Pinewood Studios.

Timing is also a key factor in J.J. Abrams’ new comments about the handover of scripting duties for the film. There were predictable disturbances in the news force when it was reported late last month that Abrams and writer / director Lawrence had decided to take over crafting the script for Star Wars: Episode VII from T**oy Story III**'s Michael Arndt.

It is definitely not a mad grab at more power and control by the Star Trek director (he hardly needs it), nor was it the result of Arndt suddenly going crazy and inventing a half-Ewok brother of Jar Jar Binks who is given the Bantha’s share of the lines in the second half of the script. It actually has to do with timing, according to Abrams.

“It became clear that given the time frame and given the process and the way the thing was going that working with Larry in this way was going to get us where we need to be and when we needed to be,” he said during a conference call promoting the new Bad Robot-produced TV series Almost Human, a conversation that was recorded by Deadline.

And never fear: Arndt isn’t now digesting over a thousand years in the belly of the almighty Sarlacc. Abrams was quick to praise him. “Working with Michael was a wonderful experience and I couldn’t be a bigger fan of his or adore him more, He’s a wonderful guy and was incredibly helpful in the process,” Abrams says. “It doesn’t preclude working with Michael again in the future.”

Kasdan, of course, is a veteran of the Star Wars universe having co-written The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi. He’s also been at developing one of the spin-off films Disney wants to slot in between the new trilogy for a wall-to-wall Wars experience after Episode VII docks in that aforementioned December 18, 2015 berth.