Also, the new saga is unlikely to be based on any existing stories, so furiously working through your post-Return of the Jedi novel collection is even more of a waste than usual.
In a new interview with EntertainmentWeekly, former Star War man Mark Hamill has revealed that he and fictional sister Carrie Fisher have known about the new sequel plans since August, when Lucas took the two out to lunch and explained that they're no longer the closing act of this space opera. Said Luke:
[L]ast August, [Big George] asked Carrie and I to have lunch with him and we did. I thought he was going to talk about either his retirement or the Star Wars TV series that I've heard about -- which I don't think we were going to be involved in anyway, because that takes place between the prequels and the ones we were in and, if Luke were in them, he'd be anywhere from a toddler to a teenager so they'd get an age-appropriate actor -- or the 3-D releases. So when he said, "We decided we're going to do Episodes VII, VIII, and IX," I was just gobsmacked. "What? Are you nuts?!" [Laughs] I can see both sides of it. Because in a way, there was a beginning, a middle, and an end and we all lived happily ever after and that's the way it should be -- and it's great that people have fond memories, if they do have fond memories. But on the other hand, there's this ravenous desire on the part of the true believers to have more and more and more material. It's one of those things: people either just don't care for it or are passionate about it. I guess that defines what cult movies are all about. We'll see. I'm anxious to know what's going on, but the main story [yesterday] was the sale to Disney. I have mixed feelings about that, but they haven't done badly by Marvel and the Muppets and Pixar. It's one of those big decisions that at first seems unusual but then the more you look at it, the more it makes sense.
In terms of story, Hamill added that only knows that Lucas was then "just talking about writers," but to that point, The LA Times has added a little more information. They report that months prior to the big Disney announcement, Lucas and then-co-chair Kathleen Kennedy were already meeting with several "well-known screenwriters with experience creating big-budget Hollywood films" who "were pitching ideas for a new story, not ones adapted from existing Star Wars books." So, probably David Koepp, and hopefully Han and Luke evolved to a Grumpier Old Men scenario?