Star Wars: Episode VIII release date pushed back

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Those waiting for the next instalment in the Star Wars franchise will have to wait a little longer than planned.

Disney and Lucasfilm have announced that Episode VIII, the next step on from The Force Awakens, will be released in December 2017 - despite originally being pipped for a summer release date in the same year.

The new film will now come out almost exactly two years from The Force Awakens, which was released on December 17 last year, and 12 months on from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the spin-off due for release later this year.

Announcements regarding the release were reportedly made last night.

A statement on the Star Wars website states: “The move follows the extraordinary success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was the first Star Wars movie to premiere outside the traditional summer blockbuster window and smashed numerous records, including biggest domestic and global debuts of all time as well as the biggest domestic second and third weekends, en route to becoming the highest grossing domestic release of all time with over $861.3 million and the third biggest global release ever with $1.886.7 billion.”

Episode VIII is reported to be in pre-production, with “principal photography” starting next month.

Rogue One will be the first release in a separate Star Wars Anthology series, which will explore stand-alone stories from the Star Wars universe. This story will be set shortly before the events of Star Wars in 1977, and follow the journey of some rebel spies, looking to steal plans for the Death Star.

Are you already excited to find out what will happen next?