Star Wars Episode VIII Gets A Rewrite And A New Release Date

J.J. Abrams has made no secret of his opinion about Rian Johnson’s screenplay for Star Wars: Episode VIII, calling it “an amazing script” that “will be an incredible next chapter.” It’s somewhat surprising, then, that Johnson is currently busy re-working that script. However, it seems these rewrites have more to do with the enthusiastic reception Abrams’ film received than any shortcomings in the Episode VIII screenplay.


During an interview with the Meet the Movie Press podcast, The Wrap’s Jeff Sneider offered an explanation for this surprising development. “I said before there were two young female roles, now I actually heard that the rewrite will make these roles smaller,” he said of Johnson’s script. “They want to get to know better the characters they already have. So the new rewrite is shrinking the new roles in order to spend more time with Rey, Poe, and so on.”


In other Episode VIII news, it turns out you’ll now have to wait an extra seven months for the follow-up to The Force Awakens, as the release date has been moved from spring 2017 to December. Some might speculate that this is connected to the aforementioned rewrites, but we’re guessing it has more to do with the box office benefits of a December release. The three highest grossing films of all time (Avatar, Titanic, The Force Awakens) were all December releases, benefiting from competition that is heavier on Oscar bait than blockbusters. Whatever the reason for this move, mark your calendars for December 15th, 2017.