Disney has announced a new Star Wars film will appear yearly from 2015, alternating between new episodes in the space saga and spinoff character films.
The announcement, made at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, was reported by Comingsoon.
Star Trek director JJ Abrams will begin the new cycle of movies with Episode VII, from a script by Little Miss Sunshine writer Michael Arndt.
Star Wars creator George Lucas sold his film production company Lucasfilm to Disney last year for $4.05 billion.
The latest announcement was made by Walt Disney Co chairman Alan Horn, at the annual movie theatre convention CinemaCon in Las Vegas.
In February, Disney announced that alongside a new trilogy, a series of films built around existing characters from the Star Wars universe were in development.
It is rumored the first stand-alone film could focus on the diminutive Jedi master Yoda.
The spinoff films will be written by Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg.
Lawrence Kasdan worked on the scripts of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi – the second and third installments of the first Star Wars trilogy while Simon Kinberg is best known for his work on X-Men: The Last Stand and Guy Ritchie’s hit reboot of Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey Jr.
Fans’ reactions to Disney’s announcement on social networks and film websites have been mixed.
The original Star Wars film starred Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford as they took on the evil Empire “in a galaxy, far, far away”.
In a recent interview George Lucas hinted at a cast reunion, revealing the trio were “in final stages of negotiation”.