Star Wars 8 Release Date and Director - Everything We Know So Far

An official release date for ‘Star Wars 8’ has been confirmed… and it’s going to be with us a lot sooner than we thought. But what else do we know?

Although ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ is yet to grace our screens, it looks as though we’re starting to get our first official news for its sequel – ‘Star Wars 8’. Of course, it’s still rather early to get anything particularly juicy, such as casting or plot rumours. But what do we know so far?

It seems we might know a bit more than we realised…

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Star Wars 8 Gets An Official Release Date

Although little else is known about ‘Star Wars 8’, there’s one thing we know for certain – exactly when the film will appear on the big screen. Revealed at the same time as the ‘Star Wars’ spin-off title, it came as no surprise that ‘Star Wars 8’ is set for a 2017 release.

26 May 2017 is now marked in every ‘Star Wars’ fan’s calendar.

But there’s an obvious question – why not the same time of year as ‘The Force Awakens’? It’s been long rumoured that ‘Star Wars VII’ director J.J. Abrams had been pushing for a far earlier release… but Disney refused to comply. Of course, this is just a rumour, but has the studio taken Abrams’ advice on board?

Either way, it seems we get ‘Star Wars 8’ a lot sooner than we thought.

Rian Johnson Will Direct Star Wars 8

It’s been a long while since we first heard Rian Johnson linked to ‘Star Wars 8’. But while the rumours have been around for some time, it’s finally been confirmed that he will take the director’s chair for the upcoming sequel.

Famous for ‘Looper’ starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the 41-year-old filmmaker is also responsible for some of the best episodes of ‘Breaking Bad’, and will also perform writing duties on ‘Star Wars 8’.

This makes him the first filmmaker since George Lucas to write and direct a ‘Star Wars’ film. Unless you count J.J. Abrams’ ‘Star Wars VII’ edits. And I can’t help feeling rather excited to see Johnson on board.

J.J. Abrams Won’t Be Back For Star Wars 8?

It’s no secret that ‘Star Wars VII’ director J.J. Abrams wouldn’t be returning for the next instalment in the ‘Star Wars’ saga. But the recent ‘Star Wars 8’ announcement left many of us wondering if he’ll still be involved with the franchise at all.

After Abrams was appointed as director of ‘The Force Awakens’, it became clear that his role in the future of the ‘Star Wars’ franchise was a lot larger. In fact, it’s often been reported that J.J. will be the creative architect behind the entire sequel trilogy – overseeing the galaxy far, far away.

But in the recent ‘Star Wars 8’ announcement, there was no mention of J.J. tagging along as producer. In fact, there was no mention of him at all.

Does this mean that J.J. Abrams has bowed out of the galaxy far, far away? Does his involvement end with ‘The Force Awakens’? For now, we’ll have to wait and see.

Star Wars 8 Could Feature Lando Calrissian?

Here’s one for the fans – it looks as though original trilogy star Billy Dee Williams could be back as everyone’s favourite cloud city administrator, Lando Calrissian. The 77-year-old star recently dropped a huge hint that he could be back in future ‘Star Wars’ films… and if you ask me, they’d be mad not to include him in the following sequel.

“I uh… I may very well… I have a feeling I’m going to show up.”

“There’s nothing I can really discuss about it at this stage,” he added. “People think of me as the original cast, but I didn’t come in until the second movie. I did ‘Empire’ and then I did ‘Return of the Jedi’, but I came in after everyone else was introduced. I think they’re probably proceeding in that way.”

Will he actually end up returning to the Millennium Falcon? For now, we’ll have to wait and see. But let’s hope so.

‘Star Wars 8’ heads to cinemas on 26 May 2017.

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Picture Credit: Lucasfilm