What we know about Star Wars Episodes VII-IX

On October 30, 2012, Disney announced that it has purchased Lucasfilm and will be making Episodes VII, VIII and IX, with films “every two to three years.” It’s a crazy time for Star Wars fandom, and the rumors are already running swift.

This page contains information that has been Released or Confirmed by Official Sources like Lucasfilm and Disney. Other information is marked Unknown or Unconfirmed Rumors. We’ll only be including rumors when relevant. You can see all our coverage on the sequel trilogy category, and our tags for Episode VII and Disney buys Lucasfilm.

The basics

  • Confirmed 1/26/13: J. J. Abrams (2009 Star Trek, Super 8) will direct, and along with Bryan Burk, produce. Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Return of the Jedi) and Simon Kinberg (2009 Sherlock Holmes, Mr. and Mrs. Smith) will consult.
  • Confirmed 9/9/12: Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3, Little Miss Sunshine) will be writing the screenplay.
  • Confirmed: They’re aiming for a 2015 release date for Episode VII. George Lucas has provided story treatments for sequels, and will act as creative consultant. Kathleen Kennedy, as president of Lucasfilm under Disney, will be executive producing them. (See below for more details and quotes.)
  • Confirmed: There may be more films after Episode IX. Disney CEO Robert A. Iger said their long-term plan is to “release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years.”

What we don’t know

  • George Lucas told Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher about sequel plans in August 2012, Hamill told Entertainment Weekly. It’s yet unknown if they or other actors from the previous films will be involved.
  • Unknown: We have no idea how much, if at all, the movies will utilize the books and comics – aka the existing post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe. There have been multiple reports that the new films will be all-new stories, not adaptions of previous material, but nothing has been confirmed.

At length

Everything below this point is released by official sources.

On October 30, 2012, Disney announces that it has purchased Lucasfilm and will be making a sequel trilogy, with films “every two to three years” after that.

In a statement, George Lucas says: “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. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come.”

StarWars.com released a video featuring Lucas and LFL Chairman Kathleen Kennedy talking about the sale and the sequels. “I have story treatments of seven, eight and nine,” Lucas says, as well as other ideas that he will be turning over to Kennedy. Here’s a transcript of some of the things they said in the video:

Kennedy: “We are absolutely going to make Star Wars movies, and we are in the midst of the really fun part of the process, which is, we’re sitting down with a couple of writers and we’re starting to discuss ideas; We’re starting to talk about what those stories might be. I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t going to be entirely on my own, because it’s important that [Lucas] at least continue to be a little guardian angel on my shoulder, helping me do this.”

Lucas: “It’s a very big universe that I’ve created, and there’s a lot of stories that are sitting in there.”

Kennedy: “The main thing is to protect these characters, make sure that they still will continue to live in the world the way [Lucas] created them. And that the universe of Star Wars continues to grow.”

In a second video, released November 9th, Lucas and Kennedy addressed directors.

Kennedy: I think we have a unique opportunity to go after some incredibly talented people,” she says. “It’s not going to be people who don’t already have some affinity for Star Wars probably, it’s gonna be somebody who really appreciates what Star Wars meant to them and is excited to dive in and be a part of this. I think the thing that will be immediately apparent are the directors who walk into the room and say ‘I can’t wait to be a part of this. I think it’s going to be a pretty long list.”

On the Disney side, Chairman/CEO Robert A. Iger said on Star Wars:

“Its universe of more than 17 thousand characters inhabiting more than a thousand planets and spanning only 20,000 years offers infinite inspiration and opportunities. We’re already moving forward with plans to continue the epic Star Wars saga.”

“The last Star Wars movie released was 2005’s Revenge of the Sith, and we believe there’s substantial pent-up demand. In 2015, we’re planning to release Star Wars Episode Seven, the first feature film under the Disney-Lucas brand. That will be followed by Episodes Eight and Nine and our long-term plan is to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years.”

“We’re very happy that George Lucas will be creative consultant on our new Star Wars films, and that Kathleen Kennedy, the current co-chair of Lucasfilm, will executive produce the films.”

(Big thanks to Jedi Mouseketeer, who recorded and has archived the Disney Conference call on the announcement.)

Background: We know this has been in the works at Lucasfilm for a while. Pablo Hidalgo wrote about finding out on June 29, 2012, and has since handled research requests from George Lucas’ office as he prepares the story treatments. Steve Sansweet theorizes that working on The Clone Wars is what spurred George to the idea of making more films, which in turn led to the hiring of Kennedy. And J. W. Rinzler shared the history of the sequels themselves.