Star Wars Episode 7 Release Date: Disney And Lucasfilm Announce J.J. Abrams As The Director

By Juan G. Rodriguez , Updated Jan 26, 2013 11:00 AM EST

J.J. Abrams has already beamed up to the Enterprise and now the filmmaker is going to a galaxy far far far away.

IGN reports that Disney and Lucasfilm have officially announced Abrams as the director of the upcoming "Star Wars: Episode VII."

"It's very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie," said Star Wars producer and Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy in a statement. "J.J. is the perfect director to helm this."

She added, "Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise. He understands the essence of the Star Wars experience, and will bring that talent to create an unforgettable motion picture."

The announcement comes just a day after news of the hire broke and even "Star Wars" creator George Lucas commended the decision to appoint Abrams.

"I've consistently been impressed with J.J. as a filmmaker and storyteller," Lucas said. "He's an ideal choice to direct the new Star Wars film and the legacy couldn't be in better hands."

Another "Star Wars" veteran, Dennis Muren, An Oscar-winning visual effects artist, said that Abrams has a visual eye and that he is a great choice.

 "He puts everything he has into his work," Muren said. "He totally immerses himself. He's got such a visual eye, which is so important to the Star Wars films. It seems that a lot of the same things that were in George when he made the first Star Wars films are also in J.J. I think he's going to fit into the other movies perfectly, with the energy that J.J. has. We're kick-starting Star Wars again with dynamite. It will knock people out, including the people who get to work on it. I think it's a great choice."

According to the report, Abrams will also produce "Star Wars: Episode VII" with his Bad Robot partner Bryan Burk along with Kennedy and Lucasfilm.

"To be a part of the next chapter of the Star Wars saga, to collaborate with Kathy Kennedy and this remarkable group of people, is an absolute honor," Abrams said. "I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid."

IGN also says the official press release confirms earlier reports that "Star Wars Episode V" and "Star Wars: Episode VI" writer Lawrence Kasdan would be serving as a consultant on the film alongside "X-Men: First Class" producer Simon Kinberg.

Oscar winner Michael Arndt is writing the screenplay for "Star Wars: Episode VII" and the movie is slated for release in the Summer of 2015, where it will likely go against Disney's "Avengers" sequel and the proposed "Justice League of America" film adaptation from Warner Bros Studios.

Check out our list of potential plots for the new trilogy here and some casting rumors here. Watch the "Star Wars" Blu-ray trailer below...

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