Ever since the world (of sci-fi fans, at least) was rocked by the news that Disney had acquired Lucasfilm and set in motion plans to produce Star Wars: Episode 7, official announcements about returning cast and the creative team being assembled have been trickling in steadily amidst a river of rumor and speculation.

Whether it’s Ryan Gosling as the son of Luke Skywalker or the return of Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi, there’s a rumor to suit just about every sensibility. One subject of particular interest, however, is the exact timing of Star Wars: Episode 7‘s 2015 release, which will help to determine how successful the movie could be at the box office, and what kind of competition it will be facing.

Though Star Wars: Episode 7‘s precise release date has not been officially set, Badass Digest cites rumors from “multiple sources” that Disney and Lucasfilm have their sights set on a December 2015 release date for Star Wars Episode 7, most likely in the middle of the month. This contradicts Disney CEO Alan Horn’s recent comments at D23, in which he indicated that the film will be released by summer 2015, but there are a few reasons that make the move to a winter release more likely.

The summer 2015 box office is already looking pretty gladiatorial, with plenty of heavy hitters stepping up to the plate. May, the month in which all the Star Wars movies so far have been released, will bring The Avengers: Age of Ultron – a movie with a similar target demographic as Star Wars: Episode 7 (and with Disney behind them both), which follows on from 2012 titan The Avengers, the third highest-grossing movie of all time. June is a little quieter, save for Terminator 5 and video game adaptation Assassin’s Creed, but Independence Day 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean 5 are both scheduled for July releases.

A December 2015 release would also give director J.J. Abrams as much time as possible to piece Star Wars: Episode 7 together, whilst still remaining in the general timeframe of 2015. Despite the huge amount of anticipation for the sequels, Star Wars: Episode 7 needs to dispel the stigma associated with the prequels in order to keep audiences coming back for the next two movies, which means that Disney would be well advised to give Star Wars: Episode 7 a generous development, production and post-production schedule. It could also set the new Star Wars trilogy up as the new Christmas franchise, taking over after The Hobbit concludes in 2014.

Do you want to see Star Wars: Episode 7 as soon as possible, or are you okay with waiting an extra few months? Tell us which release period you think would be wisest in the comments.

Star Wars Episode 7 is expected to release some time in 2015.

Source: Badass Digest