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Star Wars Episode VIII delayed until December 2017

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Disney has announced that the next installment of the Star Wars saga will now be released in theatres six months later than initially planned.

Rather than initially-scheduled Summer 2017 release, the as-yet-untitled Star Wars: Episode VIII will now arrive on December 15 2017.

While Disney hasn’t offered a reason for the change in tact, it did cite the success of The Force Awakens, which became the first film in the series to hit cinemas outside of the summer window.

In an unapologetic blog post on Wednesday, Disney explained: “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.”

Those records, Disney says, include the “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.”

While it might be possible Disney has altered the release schedule for production reasons, perhaps the entertainment giant believes the reception afforded to The Force Awakens during the Christmas period, enables it to get the most bang for its buck.

See also: Star Wars: Battlefront review

For viewers it means waiting longer for the answers to the multiple questions posed by The Force Awakens.

The dismay at the delay will be offset by the arrival of the first spin-off movie Rogue One: A Star Wars story, which is still scheduled to arrive on December 16 2016.

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