We weren't expecting this one.
IESB dropped a Death Star sized bombshell on the world over the weekend, as the website is reporting that George Lucas is planning to film a whole new "Star Wars" trilogy.
Before you start fashioning a coffin for what's left of your childhood, though, don't worry -- the new films will feature an all-new storyline unrelated to the Skywalker saga or the original trilogy.
And they won't be in theaters until, like, 2017.
The delay is because Lucas appears to be favoring the same business model he used to produce and release Episodes I-III.
Following the success of the remastered director's cut re-releases of Episodes IV-VI in 1997, Lucas used the new revenue to develop the prequel trilogy, which debuted in 1999 starting with "Phantom Menace." With another batch of re-releases already announced -- this time all six films will be returning to the theater with 3-D conversions, beginning with "The Phantom Menace" in 2012 -- the stage is set for Lucas to reinvest those profits into the new trilogy with an expected release date roughly two years after the last of the re-issues leaves theaters.
So what will the movies be about? Why has Lucas decided to exhume "Star Wars" again? And how will this affect the upcoming live action "Star Wars" TV series? Calm down, young padawan, because the IESB report addresses all these questions. To wit:
• What's the story about: "[It's] too early for story details but one thing that our source is certain about, they will not be prequels but instead sequels. It's not for certain if they will be the long awaited Episodes 7, 8 and 9 but could instead be Episodes 10, 11 and 12 or possibly even further out in the Star Wars timeline. And by giving space in the timeline, possibly even as far as 100 years or 1,000 years in the Star Wars universe future, Lucas avoids having to make these stories "fit in" with what the previous stories have told."
• Why is Lucas making these movies: "Besides the obvious possible billions that a new Star Wars trilogy will take in, our source tells us that George has gotten motivated with the success the Clone Wars animated series, the video games and also with the success of "Avatar.""
• What effect will this have on the TV show: "these new film will have nothing to do with the live action television series currently in development. That show already has over 50 scripts ready to go and plenty of pre-production time and money has been spent on artwork and storyboards. Once that show goes into production, Lucasfilm hopes to be able to produce at least 100 episodes since that is the threshold for syndication in the United States."
Whew. It's enough to make your head spin, but that's probably just the effect of the midicholians in your bloodstream. While we're not sure whether to be excited or horrified by this news, we do know one thing: we'll be first in line either way, waiting to see if Lucas finally regains his early magic... or if this is yet another nail in the "Star Wars" coffin.
Damn you, Lucas -- we keep trying to get out, but you keep pulling us back in.