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Today in Star Wars reports: Episode VII finally has an official release date

In the sort of official announcement that, like a planet made entirely of ice or dust, passes for genuine life in the endless void of Star Wars news, Disney and Lucasfilm have officially given Episode VII the release date of Dec. 18, 2015. Disney chairman Alan Horn said in a statement that the date would “not only anchor the popular holiday filmgoing season but also ensure our extraordinary filmmaking team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture.” That latter point is already the subject of some controversy, after reports surfaced in the wake of Michael Arndt leaving that the film’s creative team—including Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy—had pushed for a delay to 2016, a request that Disney CEO Robert Iger accepted with the same sense of forgiveness Darth Vader showed Captain Needa.

Nevertheless, Abrams said today that he and Lawrence Kasdan specifically took over in order to meet that time frame, which now has a definitive end date to when we can stop speculating about things like that. It’s also worth noting that this will be the first Star Wars film to be released not in May but rather around Christmas—because what goes together better than Star Wars and Christmas

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