Disney confirms Star Wars spin-off movies

Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi writer will pen the films

Disney has confirmed that it will be working on a series of spin-off films, centring around the stories of other characters from the 'Star Wars' universe.

It had previously been rumoured that the studio was planning the spin-offs with writers Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg, but now Disney CEO Bob Iger has firmed up the plans.

[Related story: Yoda to take central role in Star Wars spin-off?]

Star Wars... spin-off films planned to run alongside new sequels (Copyright: Lucasfilm)

“I can confirm to you today that in fact we are working on a few standalone films, Larry Kasdan and Simon Kinberg are both working on films derived from great 'Star Wars' characters that are not part of the overall saga,” he said in an interview on CNBC.

“We still plan to make 'Star Wars' 7, 8, and 9 roughly over a six-year period of time, starting in 2015. But there are going to be a few other films released in that period, too.”

Kasdan is the writer behind both 'The Empire Strikes Back' and 'Return of the Jedi', and also classics including 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'.

Meanwhile, Kinberg is best known for writing the likes of Guy Ritchie's re-imagined 'Sherlock Holmes', 'Jumper', 'X-Men: The Last Stand' and 'First Class', and 'Mr and Mrs Smith'.

It was reported earlier this week by film site Ain't It Cool News that the first of these new spin-off films will focus on Jedi master Yoda, though that is yet to be confirmed.