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'Force Awakens' follow-up gets release date; you won't have to wait long

Fans won't have to wait as long for the second movie in the new "Star Wars" trilogy as Disney gives an official release date of May 26, 2017.

This droid will help kick off the new "Star Wars" trilogy. Lucasfilm/Screenshot by CNET

Back in the 1970s when the "Star Wars" movies first debuted, fans were used to waiting, as there was a three-year gap between each film in the series. Eager fans will be getting their "Star Wars" fix a lot faster with the new trilogy.

"The Force Awakens" is scheduled to be released December 18 of this year. Speaking at Disney's annual general meeting Thursday, CEO Bob Iger announced an official release date for the as-yet-untitled follow-up "Star Wars: Episode VIII" for May 26, 2017. That's a mere year-and-a-half wait between entries.

"The Force Awakens" director J.J. Abrams will stand aside for "Episode VIII," handing the galactic reins off to Rian Johnson, who will take over as both writer and director. Johnson is known for the 2012 time-bending sci-fi film "Looper" and for directing several episodes of "Breaking Bad."

The new trilogy isn't the only "Star Wars" work keeping Disney busy. Iger also announced the title of a spin-off movie scheduled for release in December 2016. The standalone film is called "Rogue One," a nod to the rebel faction in the titular wars.