Photo credit: Lucasfilm
It's not the first time a Star Wars film has undergone a major change prior to its release date (see video below). However, "Star Wars: Episode VII" will be the first film in the franchise NOT to open in the month of May.
Walt Disney Studio chief Alan Horn announced via a statement that the original release date of May 2015 for "Star Wars: Episode VII" was being pushed to December 18, 2015.
"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 Horn.
"Episode VII" is set to begin filming in the spring of 2014. J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan have taken over primary writing duties from screenwriter Michael Arndt, which undoubtedly contributed to the delay in pre-production.
Kasdan also helped write "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) and "Return of the Jedi" (1983). So, while the new film has been pushed to Christmas 2015 the overall story quality of the new project seems to be in much better hands.