If you haven’t heard the big news by now, Disney and Lucasfilm have officially announced that Star Wars: Episode VIII will have its release date pushed back to December 15, 2017, instead of following the tradition of releasing the film in May.
For many, this news is mind-shattering as know we now know that we must wait longer for the film to be released. But it shouldn’t cause too much of a stir, and here’s why:
Back in 2012, Disney and Lucasfilm announced that there will be an Episode VII continuing the story on the big screen. Fans around the globe roared with both excitement and despair. With most of the recent content created by Lucasfilm being geared toward younger audiences, many feared that Disney would taint the franchise with its mark. Pleasant to their surprise, the film was well received by audiences around the globe and it even reached a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
With 3 years to finish the film, much of the time was spent by J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan on trying to write a script with a compelling story behind it. The very idea of possibly making any mistakes was frightening because J.J. was well aware that as with any film, there would be a group of people who aim to tear the film apart in the ratings, due to their high expectations. This lead to a relentless pursuit of doing whatever it takes to please the fans, but at the same time, do it with a great story.
Photo by The Verge
Now, the torch of the franchise’s life on the big screen has been passed on to Rian Johnson, who wrote, as well as directed, the film Looper. With the film’s production already underway, word has it that a script has been written and that it is “Very good” according to Daisy Ridley who plays the character Rey.
Episode VIII was originally slated for May of 2017, which is only about a year and a half out from the release of The Force Awakens. Now that the release date has been pushed back to December of 2017, we begin to wonder why they would need more time and it’s actually pretty obvious. When you take into account the stages of production (Pre-Production, Production, Post-Production), it seems like this film was being rushed as the script was being written long before the release of The Force Awakens and Principal Photography has already begun only a month after the release. And while there is already a lot to work with, what Rian is trying to do here, is give the story some actual progression, meaning he’s spending a lot of time trying to figure out where the story is going to go. And as Chris Stuckmann has established in his review of The Force Awakens, we aren’t entirely sure of what the big picture is here. Many people would say that The Force Awakens had an overload of nostalgia and while it was pleasing, the fans crave more new than old with Episode VIII, and it has been established that this film will be taking on an approach that goes in that direction. With that said, we believe that as craftspeople, filmmakers that are at the helm of any franchise need to take as much time as needed to create something with actual substance to it. If the film is rushed we might end up with something less than what we were promised. Patience is key here. Look on the bright side, this will only make this movie better than it was before. In Rian Johnson We Trust.