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Article updated: 11/7/2013 4:46 PM

New 'Star Wars' film coming in Dec. 2015

Will Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill reprise their roles in “Star Wars: Episode VII”? If so, Luke and Co. will be back on the big screen Dec. 18, 2015.

Will Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill reprise their roles in "Star Wars: Episode VII"? If so, Luke and Co. will be back on the big screen Dec. 18, 2015.

 

Associated Press

 J.J. Abrams will direct “Star Wars: Episode VII,” coming to theaters Dec. 18, 2015.

J.J. Abrams will direct "Star Wars: Episode VII," coming to theaters Dec. 18, 2015.

 

Associated Press

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By Associated Press

NEW YORK -- For the first time in the franchise's history, a "Star Wars" film won't be released in the summer.

Walt Disney Studios announced Thursday that "Star Wars: Episode VII" will open in theaters on Dec. 18, 2015. The original 1977 film helped set the precedent of the summer blockbuster. But this latest installation in George Lucas' space opera will be a holiday season affair.

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The project recently shuffled screenwriters, worrying much of the "Star Wars" fan universe. Screenwriter Michael Arndt ("Toy Story 3") exited, with director J.J. Abrams ("Star Trek Into Darkness") and Lawrence Kasdan ("The Empire Strikes Back") taking over the script.

Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said the December date will "ensure our extraordinary team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture."

"Star Wars VII" is set to begin shooting in the spring at Pinewood Studios in London.

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