In October 2012 it was announced that Disney was acquiring Lucasfilm, the firm responsible for the 'Star Wars' franchise, with plans to fast-track a new chapter of the story into production.
The deal worth a reported $4.06 billion (£2.4bn) was completed in December that year and pre-production on the film got underway.
George Lucas stepped down from Lucasfilm and veteran film producer Kathleen Kennedy was named president of the company, effectively taking over the reins of the franchise.
JJ Abrams, the man responsible for the successful ‘Star Trek’ reboot, was named as director for the new chapter and ‘Toy Story 3’ scribe Michael Arndt was set to work on a script.
With a December 2015 release date looming, we can expect some more firm details soon.
In the meantime, here’s everything we know about the next installment in the Skywalker saga so far.
Star Wars: Episode VII UK release date
The seventh film in the series (2008’s animated ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ notwithstanding) will be released in the UK and worldwide on 18 December 2015.
It had originally been thought that the film would target a May release window, mirroring previous installments, but a Christmas slot for 'Episode 7’ was confirmed late last year.
Disney confirmed it won’t stop at just one film, revealing intent to make a trilogy of new films when the acquisition was announced.
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Expect ‘Star Wars: Episode 8’ and ‘Star Wars: Episode 9’ over the next few years, with Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg reputed to be on screenwriting duties.
There are also plans for spin-off films for popular characters with Yoda and Boba Fett likely the first in the queue to get their origin tales made for the big screen. Han Solo is also rumoured to get a spin-off too.
These will probably be released in the off years when there isn’t a numbered saga chapter on the release calendar, as Disney have stated their intent to ‘annualize’ the franchise.
Star Wars 7’s plot – theories, rumours, speculation, and title
While little is known about the cast of 'Star Wars 7’, even less is known about the film’s plot.
We know that the events of the film will take place after the events of ‘Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi’. It will take into account the passage of 30 years, with Luke, Leia, and Han returning as older characters.
‘Toy Story 3’ writer Michael Arndt wrote the first treatment and draft of the script, before JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan took over screenwriting duties in October last year.
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Arndt’s treatment is said to have centered on the twin Jedi offspring of Leia and Han, but Abrams and Kasdan are thought to have ditched that plan opting to focus on the original trio, saving the offspring’s character arcs for the two sequels.
There are also rumours that 'Episode VII' will visit Moraband, the recently renamed Sith homeworld, that has been central to a lot of discussion amongst fans of late.
One thing that is for certain is that the new films will feature all-new stories rather than recycling tales from the mind-boggingly huge 'Expanded Universe’ that has proliferated over the years.
George Lucas previously stated that a new trilogy would deal with the rebuilding of the Republic, with Luke Skywalker taking on an Obi-Wan role, passing on his Jedi knowledge onto the next generation.
As soon as we get any more solid information from Disney about the next chapter in the 'Star Wars' you'll be the first to know.
'Star Wars: Episode VII' is coming to UK cinemas 18 December, 2015.
Check out our gallery of awesome fan-made 'Star Wars 7' fan-art below...