SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The release of “Star Wars: Episode VIII” has been delayed from May 2017 to December 2017.

The Walt Disney Co. & San Francisco-based Lucasfilm announced the new release date, Dec. 15, on Wednesday. The date change pushes back the anticipated “Star Wars” installment set to follow the box-office hit “The Force Awakens.”

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The eighth chapter in the saga is to be written and directed by Rian Johnson. Production is scheduled to begin next month in London.

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