Until recently, it was something of an informal tradition for ‘Star Wars’ movies to be released in May. This was the case throughout George Lucas’s stewardship of the franchise, with the sole exception being the animated ‘Clone Wars’ feature (which was released in August 2008). That all changed in 2015 when ‘The Force Awakens’, the franchise’s first theatrical release since its acquisition by Disney three years prior, hit theaters in December. Disney’s second ‘Star Wars’ offering, ‘Rogue One’, followed suit just a few weeks ago, and ‘Episode VIII’ is likewise set for December 2017.
The shift was originally prompted by production delays on ‘The Force Awakens’. While the film was originally targeted for a summer 2015 release window (which, given the franchise’s history, almost certainly meant a May release), it was ultimately pushed back to December in order to allow the production team the time they need to get the film done right. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the film made an astronomical amount of money, cementing the franchise’s future (at least in the short term) as an end of year staple.
But what about future installments? Both the untitled anthology film following a young Han Solo and ‘Episode IX’ are tentatively set for May release dates, in 2018 and 2019 respectively. However, those dates were set far enough in advance that they can essentially be treated as placeholders, especially given the way the prior films have so far all ended up with December releases. And it’s starting to look like at least one of them will be moving to December. While no official announcement has been made, Disney and Lucasfilm have stopped referring to the previously announced May 25 release date for the Han Solo spinoff, simply stating that the film will be released in 2018. In addition to this, a report on Making Star Wars claims that Disney is now eyeing a release date of December 13, 2018 for the film. In presenting this claim, Making Star Wars cites anonymous sources “in the theater industry”, sources which in turn refer to some unspecified paperwork. So take this all with a grain of salt, but considering the way the Disney era of ‘Star Wars’ has gone so far, it would hardly be surprising if the release did shift from May to December.
The Han Solo movie, directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller from a script by Jon and Lawrence Kasdan, is currently set for release on May 25, 2018, though that date is subject to change. The film’s announced cast includes Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, and Emilia Clarke.
Would you prefer to see ‘Star Wars’ movies released in May or December? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more news on the Han Solo anthology film as it becomes available!