Oct. 30, 2012 at 6:38 PM ET
At first, it sounded like a typical business news story, albeit one involving two major movie names: Disney announced Tuesday that it was buying Lucasfilm. But right there in the story: word that the newly purchased company plans to release "Star Wars: Episode 7" in 2015.
Although he'd said in the past that he wasn't going to make any more "Star Wars" movies other than the original three and the three prequels, George Lucas has changed his mind. Well, kind of.
In a video discussion with Lucasfilm co-chair Kathy Kennedy, Lucas explains that he didn't really go back on his word.
"I always said I wasn't going to do any more ('Star Wars' films)," he said. "That's true ... but that doesn't mean I'm not going to turn it over to Kathy."
Lucas said that he had produced story treatments for the next trilogy of films as well as "other movies." Kennedy said that she already was discussing ideas with writers, and noted "the main thing is to protect the characters."
In sequence, the film would come after 1983's "Return of the Jedi," which ends with an Ewok-assisted battle on Endor and features a final scene of the spirits of Obi-Wan, Yoda and Anakin Skywalker watching over Luke and the other Rebels celebrating the end of the Empire.
Lucas and Kennedy haven't said how long after "Jedi" the first new film would be set, or what familiar characters might return. But fans immediately weighed in, of course.
Some weren't sure what to think. "This is definitely a lot to take in," Eric Eisenberg wrote at Cinema Blend. "The prequels were an absolute disaster, but could they ever be redeemed?"
Joked the blog I Watch Stuff, "Though the deal gives Disney control of all the Star Wars characters, as well as their own roster and their Marvel acquisitions, it is not clear if or when Jar Jar, Thor, and Pooh will be made available on a single varsity jean jacket."
Vince Mancini of FilmDrunk.com at least was somewhat optimistic, if you can call it that, writing: "I’d just as soon they let Star Wars die off, like it should have after Episode I, but let’s face it, there’s no way Disney can do worse with Lucasfilm than Lucasfilm’s already been doing."
MTV's Josh Wigler got down to the nitty-gritty -- which characters will we see onscreen? He's wondering if iconic roles will be recast -- can a 70-year-old Harrison Ford still play a believable Han Solo, and would anyone accept another actor in the role?
And, of course, the Disney-"Star Wars" jokes ran fast and furious on Twitter. The hashtag #DisneyStarWars resulted in some fun title suggestions, including "When You Wish Upon a Death Star," "Hoth School Musical" and "Song of the Sith."
Which characters would you like to see in new "Star Wars" films? Is it a good idea to make more? Tell us on Facebook.