Disney's going to make you wait even longer for Episode VIII. It's pushing back the release date of Star Wars' next core installment to December 15th, 2017, around seven months later than its initially scheduled release in May of that year. While that's not exciting news for fans, it's a sensible decision. The Force Awakens received the very same delay in order to give J.J. Abrams more time to work on the film, and its December debut went incredibly well for Disney, smashing nearly every box office record around. Episode VIII's delay affords it those same advantages, giving director Rian Johnson more time to work and placing his movie in The Force Awakens' successful holiday slot.
The delay also helps to space out the release of new Star Wars films. Disney is still planning to release Rogue One, the first Star Wars spinoff, on December 16th of this year. Putting out Episode VIII just a few months later may have been Star Wars overload for the general public. More than likely, we're going to start seeing all Star Wars films pick up this December release date, with Disney putting movies out in that slot on a annual schedule, alternating between spinoffs and films that fit into the core narrative. Johnson begins shooting Episode VIII in London next month.