Are ready to return to a galaxy far, far away?  Well, you have a bit of a wait, but at least now you have a firm destination date.  Disney has announced that the still-untitled ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ will launch in theaters on December 18th, 2015!  2015 looks to be quite a big year for movies, with ‘Batman Vs. Superman’, ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, ‘The Fantastic Four’, ‘Jurassic World’, ‘Ant-Man’ and ‘Mockingjay Part 2’ all hitting the same year.  But ‘Star Wars’ is sidestepping the competition by bowing out of the intense summer movie season and nestling into a cozy Christmastime spot?  (It worked for ‘The Hobbit’!)  Of course, this is a huge change for the ‘Star Wars’ franchise, which may rankle more traditional fans.  (One has to wonder, though, if the date was selected in order to allow director/screenwriter J.J. Abrams more time, after requests to push the movie back to 2016 were denied.)

Here is the official announcement:

With pre-production in full-swing, a confirmed release date of December 18, 2015, has been set for Lucasfilm’s highly anticipated ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’.

“We’re very excited to share the official 2015 release date for Star Wars: Episode VII, where it will not only anchor the popular holiday filmgoing season but also ensure our extraordinary filmmaking team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture,” said Alan Horn, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios.

Star Wars: Episode VII will be directed by J.J. Abrams (‘Super 8’, ‘Mission: Impossible III’, ‘Star Trek’) and is being scripted by Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan (‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’, ‘The Empire Strikes Back’, ‘Return of the Jedi’). Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, with Tommy Harper (‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’, ‘Jack Ryan’, ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’) and Jason McGatlin (‘Tintin’, ‘War of the Worlds’) serving as executive producers. John Williams is returning to score Star Wars: Episode VII.

Shooting is scheduled to begin spring 2014 at Pinewood Studios.

What do you think?  Are you intrigued at the idea of seeing a ‘Star Wars’ movie around Christmas?  Or are you furious that Disney has changed the tradition of a summer time opening?  State your case in the comments section below!