When Disney announced one year ago that it had bought Lucasfilm and green-lighted Star Wars: Episode VII, sci-fi fandom was filled with a mixture of hope and dread. Since that time, every whisper of a rumor about the project has been picked apart by Star Wars fans.
Today Lucasfilm officially began the countdown to Episode VII's premiere. The movie now has a release date of December 18, 2015.
This date matches rumors from August that the movie's release date had been pushed back from summer into the holiday season. The date is also the exact same day that Legendary Pictures recently announced for the release of the World of Warcraft movie.
"We're very excited to share the official 2015 release date for Star Wars: Episode VII, where it will not only anchor the popular holiday filmgoing season but also ensure our extraordinary filmmaking team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture," said Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios.
Lucasfilm has also announced that shooting on the movie will begin sometime next spring.
Official news about Episode VII's production has been steady for the past few months. It was announced just weeks ago that Empire Strikes Back co-writer Lawrence Kasdan will be co-writing Episode VII with director J.J. Abrams. Also made official was the fact that movie music legend John Williams will be returning to score Episode VII.