UK Star Wars release date brought forward

Chewbacca and Han Solo

It's been confirmed Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens will be released in the UK on 17 December, a day earlier than previously announced.

It means audiences in British cinemas will get to see the the first instalment of the franchise's new trilogy a day ahead of fans in the US.

The news was confirmed in a tweet and on the official Star Wars UK Facebook page .

It means it will hit cinemas exactly 100 days from now (8 September).

A scene from Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

The Force Awakens will be set 30 years after Return of the Jedi and the trailer sees the return of Han Solo, played by Harrison Ford again, alongside co-pilot Chewbacca.

The news follows Force Friday, which saw the global release of the new Star Wars toys.

Disney expects merchandise tied to the film to generate $5bn in sales in the first year after release, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

A tweet sent announcing the new Star Wars release date

But it's the French who win the release wars as they get the film on 16 December.

Last week, new cast members John Boyega, who plays Finn and Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey, signed the new toys for fans.

And Kid Cudi, singer and rapper, has tweeted that he had auditioned for a part in Star Wars Episode VII.

He added he was "happy he was able to get in the room and try".

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