More than a year after announcing a new "Star Wars" for 2015, "Episode VII" officially landed on a December 18 release date. The holiday debut raised eyebrows among fans for two reasons in particular: "Episode VII" would be the first "Star Wars" movie to not premiere in May, and the move came a week after The Hollywood Reporter claimed that Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy had asked Disney to push the release date back to 2016 and was denied.
It was also reported that director J.J. Abrams was "in snyc" with Disney's determination for a 2015 premiere, and when he stopped by MTV News to promote "S.," the book he co-authored with Doug Dorst, Abrams shared that for his part he greatly prefers December over May.
"I will say that it is an infinitely better situation now than when they were saying that they wanted it in the summer [of 2015]," he said. "Before I even came onto the project, they were talking about 2015, and they made this announcement very early on, which I understand. I understand why they'd want that, but it didn't necessarily have anything to do with the reality of where anything was creatively."
It's that last part that Abrams finds so important when it comes to "Star Wars: Episode VII." Not a stranger to the wrath of fanboys, Abrams is placing a priority on quality over meeting early deadlines. "I think that it's a hugely important thing that [the creative process] come first," Abrams said. "A release date is great, but you have to release something great. To me, the new release date is a huge improvement."
So with a later release date, Abrams can focus on the important things, like bringing castmembers from the original series back for a new trilogy. Last week, Lucasfilm announced the first returning character, R2-D2. But before fans make an assumption that one droids requires another, they better check with C-3PO's representation.
"How do you do 'Star Wars' without R2-D2?" Abrams said. "You know, [R2-D2 and C-3PO] have different agents."
"Star Wars: Episode VII" opens in theaters on December 18, 2015.