'Star Wars: Episode VIII' Gets a Release Date

Disney, Lucasfilm announce schedule details and info about standalone film 'Rogue One'

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Star Wars
TIE fighters and the Millennium Falcon battle in a scene from 'The Force Awakens.' Lucasfilm

UPDATE: Twitter has announced several customized Star Wars emojis for fans to use on the social media platform, which will include character from The Force Awakens. The first three — #c3po, a #Stormtrooper and that rolling droid from Force Awakens trailer, #BB8 — were introduced at the "Star Wars Celebration" in Anaheim, California. A press release from the company said they wanted to give "Twitter users the ability to show their enthusiasm for the ever-evolving Star Wars universe." Expect more emojis to be announced within the coming months.

While the December release of J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens is still far, far away, Disney and Lucasfilm announced today that its Rian Johnson-helmed follow up, Star Wars: Episode VIII, will arrive on May 26th, 2017, Variety reports.

At a shareholders meeting in San Francisco, the two companies — which joined forces in 2012 — also announced new details regarding Gareth Edwards'(Godzilla) upcoming standalone film, which will be titled Rogue One and star The Theory of Everything's Felicity Jones. Production is scheduled to begin in London this summer, and the film opens on December 16th, 2016.

Cinderella scribe Chris Weitz will write the Rogue One screenplay, which is based on an idea from Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor, John Knoll. While no plot details were revealed, many have speculated that it, and Josh Trank's separate Star Wars standalone, will focus on the early days of Princess Leia and Han Solo.

As for Abrams' The Force Awakens, things have been quiet on the intergalactic front since the film's first official trailer arrived last November — complete with a new light saber. The film's cast will feature members of the original trilogy reprising their roles, including Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker. The old guard will be joined by newcomers Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong'o, Max von Sydow, Andy Serkis, John Boyega and Daisy Ridley.

The Force Awakens was written by Abrams and Lucasfilm veteran Lawrence Kasdan, who replaced original screenwriter Michael Arndt. It's scheduled to arrive on December 18th.

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