After a week of deleted tweets and other leaks, Disney officially announced today that the seventh film in the Star Wars series will premiere December 18, 2015.  This keeps it in 2015, which Disney chief Robert Iger had vowed to do (see "'Star Wars VII' Won't Be Delayed"), if barely.

Director J.J. Abrams also confirmed today that the change in writers for the film, in which he and Lawrence Kasdan took over the screenwriting (see "Kasdan, Abrams Take Over 'Star Wars VII' Writing"), was due to time pressures.  "It became clear that given the time frame and given the process and the way the thing was going that working with Larry in this way was going to get us where we needed to be and when we needed to be," he told Deadline

The December 2015 release date for Star Wars VII keeps the film comfortably distant from Avengers II in May, with plenty of room to breathe.