When Disney officially announced that J.J. Abrams will direct Episode 7, it was pointed out that the director still haven't agreed on the movie's release date. Disney were pushing for a 2015 release but is this date possible considering Abrams' busy schedule?
First let's start with some release date comparisons of the previous Star Wars movies. All 6 movies were released in May.
Episode I - 19 May, 1999
Episode II - 16 May, 2002
Episode III - 19 May, 2005
Episode IV - 25 May, 1977
Episode V - 21 May, 1980
Episode VI - 25 May, 1983
Since Disney bought Lucasfilm they were very careful with their decisions and showed that they really want to please the fans and do everything the way it should be. It's not difficult to see that Disney will surely go for a May release of Episode VII. It's something like a tradition now. The question is could they make J. J. Abrams do it for such a short period. Abrams is famous with the fact that he doesn't like his movies rushed and he is very serious about it. For example his new movie Star Trek Into Darkness was supposed to come out in 2012 but Abrams pushed it back to 2013 because of the unfinished script.
For now we know that Michael Arndt has written a treatment for the whole new Star Wars trilogy and right now he is working on the Episode 7 script. So the really important question is could Michael Arndt finish the script soon enough so that they could start filming in June 2013.
Just for comparison all 3 movies from the prequel trilogy started filming around June and wrapped up til September, leaving a year and a half for post production. And we all know that the post production in a Star Wars movie is pretty cumbersome. For example Revenge of the Sith had 2151 shots with visual effects. Which is huge.
Right now Abrams is finishing the post production of Star Trek Into Darkness. The movie will be released on 17 May, 2013 so if they want to start shooting in the summer we should really start hearing some cast decisions in the following months and let's hope we have a finished script by then.
Also we have to remember that Abrams is also a pretty good writer himself and he usually shares his writer input on the movies he is directing. So let's hope he and Arndt are on the same page with the story.
My personal opinion is that Kathleen Kennedy had hard times convincing J.J. Abrams to direct Episode 7 mainly because of the 2015 release date. 2 years is really a very short period for a new trilogy to start from scratch. The pre-production period for such movies is much longer mainly because of the diversity of characters and environments that have to be designed for the first time. Also the casting process is much longer. I think Katty and J.J. came to some kind of a compromise which if things don't turn well could mean that the movie will be delayed til May 2016. The delay is surely not a bad thing. Quite the opposite. J.J. could do miracles when he is not rushed and I think all the fans would prefer to wait a little longer but to get much better quality product. And keep in mind that 2015 is shaping to be a very competitive year with the release of Avengers 2, Justice League and Avatar 2. So a possible delay could really make sense.
Of course this is just a theory and nothing is certain. I might be wrong and the movie could be on its track to a 2015 release as we speak. I'm pretty sure there will be some news coming regarding this topic in the following weeks.