It took a while, but we finally have a date: Star Wars: Episode VII is coming December 18th, 2015. The date was announced in a blog post on the official Star Wars website, and it comes more than a year after Disney announced that it was acquiring Lucasfilm — and that more films would be on the way.

When Episode VII was first announced 2015 was pegged as the year, while the broad assumption was that the film would follow in the footsteps of other Star Wars films, and be released in May. However, time passed and Disney never provided an exact release date. Then director J.J. Abrams and writer Lawrence Kasdan took over scripting duties from original writer Michael Arndt while reports surface that Lucasfilm and Disney were battling over the 2015 release date.

Earlier today Abrams admitted that a "timeframe" issue had been behind the decision to assume scripting duties, and with the announcement today it's clear why. He and his team will have to turn around what's one of the most anticipated movies of all time in a remarkably short amount of time, with shooting scheduled to start at Pinewood Studios — the traditional home of the franchise — in spring of next year.

Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn even alluded to the concerns in a statement, stating that "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." There's still been no mention of title, story details, or hard casting news, but let's be honest: we don't need any of those things to get very excited about returning to a galaxy far, far away.