One of the many amazing aspects of experiencing Star Wars: The Force Awakens was knowing the sequel, still just called Episode VIII, was a quick 18 months away. But suddenly May 26, 2017 has turned into December 15, 2017.
All together, with vigor:
Disney and Lucasfilm's official announcement doesn't explain why, merely chuckling about how The Force Awakens was "the first Star Wars movie to premiere outside the traditional summer blockbuster window and smashed numerous records, including"—blah blah blah. We all went to see your movie three times so you're moving the next one back seven months? Again...
Episode VIII will start filming in London in February. J.J. Abrams has slid back to a producer role so Rian Johnson (Breaking Bad, Looper) can write and direct. That part's exciting. This delay, we'll reiterate, is terrible. And it fucks up one of our favorite predictions, the one where way more kids run out of the theater and get to play make-believe lightsabers because it's a seasonable May day rather than a cold December night. Think about the kids, Disney.
Rogue One, the first non-trilogy Star Wars movie, is still coming Dec. 16, 2016.