Star Wars is coming back. George Lucas, creator of the science fiction series and director of the 1977 original, plans to develop and produce a second trilogy of movies from "a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away," according to Lucasfilm Ltd. spokeswoman Lynne Hale.
Hale did not specify when the first film would be made, but expected the three to be completed over the next five to seven years.
It is believed to be the first time Lucasfilm has confirmed that there would be a new series of Star Wars adventures, although Lucas has hinted as much for some time.
Lucas himself declined an interview request last week.
While Hale said "everything at this stage is speculative," the next Star Wars trilogy is believed to be a "prequel" to the original, which would follow the early adventures of Ben "Obi-Wan" Kenobi, Darth Vader and the child Luke Skywalker.
"George Lucas has an idea of what he wants to do but we are not even pre-production at this stage," said Hale.
The big winner in a new Star Wars trilogy could be 20th Century Fox. The Los Angeles movie studio, which released the first three movies, would enjoy renewed interest in the older Star Wars movies: Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
Hale said Star Wars will wait until after Lucasfilm completes "other projects already scheduled." That includes television's The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, which went into production May 13.