Star Wars to return to big screen
Three new Stars Wars movies are to hit the big screen after creator George Lucas sold his company to Disney in a £2.5 billion deal.
A decade after the outer space film franchise was declared finished by Lucas, it was revealed that a seventh movie, with the working title Episode 7, is set for release in 2015. Episodes 8 and 9 will follow.
The announcement was made by movie giant Walt Disney, which said it was in the process of buying Lucasfilm - the company behind Star Wars.
According to Disney, the new trilogy will carry the story of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia beyond Return Of The Jedi, the third film released and the sixth in the saga.
After that, the company plans a new film every two or three years.
Lucas, who will serve as creative consultant in the new movies, 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."
He added: "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."
The deal follows Disney's acquisitions of Pixar studios for 7.4 billion US dollars (£4.6 billion) in 2006 and Marvel comics for 4.2 billion US dollars (£2.6 billion) in 2009.
Lucas, 68, launched Lucasfilm in 1971 and the first Star Wars film was released in 1977.