Disney is toying with us, just like Kylo Ren enjoys toying with Rey (until she overwhelms him). Today, they announced that Star Wars: Episode VIII is being pushed back from its original May 2017 release to December of that year.
Replacing it: the newest zombified carcass of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, entitled Dead Men Tell No Tales, which was previously slated for release next July.
There are a few reasons we can conjecture as to why Disney made this move:
1. The Force Awakens absolutely shattered box office records with a holiday season release.
2. People buy more toys in December than they do in May, and the Star Wars empire is built largely on merchandise.
3. Disney now has an additional seven months to cruelly tantalize a rabid fan base.
Star Wars: Episode VIII, whose subtitle has not yet been announced, will be written and directed by up-and-coming director Rian Johnson, noted for his work on Looper and Breaking Bad.