In arguably one of biggest film industry related announcement of the year, Walt Disney Studios has bought Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion. Coming with the announcement, they tentatively have Star Wars Episode 7 set for release in 2015.
You will find very few people who believed this sequel would happen. I gave up on a sequel to The Spongebob Squarepants Movie back in 2007, and now look; I guess you can't rule out anything in Hollywood. From Justin to Kelly 2 or Superbabies 3 is still a possibility apparently.
Disney already has ABC, ESPN, Pixar, and Marvel under there belts. The Walt Disney Company made $40.8 billion last year, so adding Lucasfilm is just adding that already ridiculous total.
In 2010, Disney bought Marvel Studios for $4 billion. Considering Disney has already made almost $3 billion with just 4 movies, only including worldwide theater grosses- that was a good buy. Disney and Marvel currently have 6 movies planned from 2013 to 2015, including The Avengers 2.
George Lucas said in a statement, "It's now time for me to pass Star Wars' on to a new generation of filmmakers." He will be a creative consultant on the new film.
It would be a huge waste for Disney to acquire Lucasfilm and not develop another Star Wars movie- or trilogy. Star Wars is still a worldwide phenomenon and spans multiple generations and starting a new trilogy will just add another. Disney also wins with merchandise and will likely make billions off that alone. Star Wars is and most likely always will be the highest grossing and attended film series of all time, adjusted for inflation. Episode I: The Phantom Menace was released in 1999 and no movie domestically still has beaten in it attendance.
The 2015 release date for Star Wars 7 is a questionable one. 2015 is almost only two years away. The only way Star Wars 7 can have three years of production is if it is released in November 2015. Plus the fact that The Avengers 2 is set for May 2015, Disney most likely would have to put Episode 7 in the holiday season. It will not be surprising if this is delayed to summer 2016, but either way, we can expect it sooner than later.
Lucas claimed years ago that Episode 3 would be the last in the saga, but given that Star Wars is still so recognizable and popular, that claim could only last for so long. No announcements have been made on how Episode 7 will tie in with the others and whether new characters will be created or old ones will be brought back- image Darth Vader again, just imagine. Expect Episode 7 in 2015 or 2016, and also expect to see your favorite Star Wars character soon at a Walt Disney theme park near you!