Sorry nerds (I can say that – I write news updates about comic book movies and release date stories about Star Wars), but the tradition of Star Wars films premiering in May is about to get shattered. The new Star Wars release date for Episode VII is December 18th 2015. Oh no, cry the kind of people who care about this sort of thing. For those of us more invested in watching a quality film, this looks like good news. I’m into J.J. Abrams’ choice here. When there is active, public pressure to release at a certain time that often leads to movies getting rushed to theaters. That’s almost always bad. In this case Abrams and co. have decided to rail against outside forces and take their time making the damn thing.
I’m always reticent to throw a metaphorical high five in Abrams’ direction, but this time I think I have to. Knowing the vitriol that this announcement would inevitably bring out of the franchise’s most intense fans, they did it anyway. That takes courage, and it tells me that they really care about making an awesome movie. That isn’t to say that taking longer to make a movie necessarily makes it better, but it is a good sign that they aren’t rushing to please a crowd that is going to see the movie anyway.
There’s also obviously a financial bonus to this move. Releasing it in Winter, especially before franchises like Avatar start taking the world by storm, means that Star Wars won’t be going up against other megahugeblockbusterexplosion movies. Star Wars could well carry the momentum of a positive opening into early spring. That’s a lot of tickets, and that’s a lot of money. Point is from both a business and a filmmaking perspective this looks like the right call. Props to the folks at Disney for making this tough choice, and who knows maybe this means they won’t be so beholden to the originals and can give us some fresh new action out there in space.