The Walt Disney Company announced Tuesday that it planned to release a seventh Star Wars film.
Disney has acquired Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion. The film studio was previously owned entirely by George Lucas, the creator of the iconic Star Wars and Indiana Jones series. Lucas will continue to work at Lucasfilm, serving as creative consultant.
Star Wars: Episode 7 is planned for release in 2015, followed by Episodes 8 and 9. Disney hopes to continue releasing new Star Wars feature films every two to three years.
“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” Lucas said in a statement. “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.”
Lucas said he was confident that Kathleen Kennedy, the current co-chairman of Lucasfilm, will continue to successfully expand the franchise after becoming the new president of the film studio. Kennedy will report to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn.
“Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products,” Lucas added.