The Force is … well what is The Force, exactly? At a guess, perhaps it has slowed down time in Hollywood given Disney has announced a delay to the release of Star Wars: Episode VIII.
The as-yet-un-subtitled next instalment of what Disney calls “The Saga” is apparently “currently in preproduction and will begin principal photography in London next month.”
No explanation is offered for the delay from the previously-planned northern summer 2017 release to the new slot of December 17th, 2017. Perhaps Disney reckons a pre-Christmas release worked so well – the announcement says box office has reached “US$1.886.7 billion” worldwide – it makes sense to repeat the tactical timing.
A standalone flick set in the Lucasverse, Rogue One, remains on track for release on December 16, 2016. So perhaps Disney's keen on the week before Christmas becoming Star Wars week for the foreseeable future.
Or perhaps it's a tension-building tactic, because Episode VII: The Force Awakens left all manner of unresolved plot lines. Why is C-3PO's arm red? What's up with Luke? Who lived after the implosion of Starkiller Base? Why do the Galaxy's military colleges turn out such bumbling generals? What's Finn up to? What happens after a Wookie shaves there? What's the back story for Kylo Ren, Supreme Leader Snoke and Luke's failed attempt to reboot the Jedi?
We could go on, but you get the idea. Episode VII director JJ Abrams is executive-producing the new instalment, so his extended saga-plotting expertise won't be Lost to the new film's director and writer Rian Johnson. ®