Disney bought Lucasfilm on October 30, 2012 (for $4.05B) and right out of the gate they announced the Star Wars saga will continue with Star Wars Episode 7 targeted for release in 2015 and more feature films expected to continue as the Star Wars saga grows. Plans are to release one new movie every 2 or 3 years. George Lucas will serve as creative consultant. Not sure how this one remained a secret for so long but we knew that Lucas had teased the idea of Episodes 7, 8, and 9 for a long time.
George Lucas said:
“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next. It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime.”
Star Wars: Episode 7 is currently in pre-production.
Lucasfilm has confirmed that Michael Arndt, the Toy Story 3 scribe, will write the screenplay for Star Wars Episode VII. Arndt had written a 40- to 50-page treatment that will bring the saga of the Skywalkers, the Force-imbued family comprising Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader and twins Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa, to a close in a new trilogy. The story is said to focus on a new generation of heroes and would feature appearances by Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher in older incarnations of their beloved characters from the original Star Wars trilogy.