Disney Announces ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ Release Date

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The opening title from the Star Wars film series is shown on screen while musicians perform during 'Star Wars: In Concert' at the Orleans Arena May 29, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Disney announced the release date of the next edition of the “Star Wars” franchise.

Disney CEO Bob Iger announced in a meeting with shareholders on Thursday that “Star Wars: Episode VIII” will be released on May 26, 2017.

That premiere will come more than a year after “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens,” which will be released this year on December 18.

“Episode VII” will feature the three primary cast members from the original movies — Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher — as well as contemporary stars like Lupita Nyong’o and Adam Driver. It will be directed by J.J. Abrams, the creative force behind the most recent incarnation of the “Star Trek” franchise.

In 2012, Disney acquired Lucasfilm, the production company founded by “Star Wars” creator George Lucas, for $4 billion. In announcing the deal, Iger said the company’s “long term plan is to release a new Stars Wars feature film every two to three years.”

Lucas said at the time that he was ready to “pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers.”