Star Wars universe to expand with new trilogy of films
The Star Wars universe is being expanded with a brand new trilogy of films, Disney and Lucasfilm have announced.
Rian Johnson, who is behind the forthcoming new instalment The Last Jedi - the eighth film in the Star Wars saga and the second in the sequel trilogy - will create the three new films.
He will also write and direct the first in the trilogy, and his frequent collaborator Ram Bergman will produce.
In a joint statement, Johnson and Bergman said: "We had the time of our lives collaborating with Lucasfilm and Disney on The Last Jedi.
"Star Wars is the greatest modern mythology and we feel very lucky to have contributed to it.
"We can't wait to continue with this new series of films."
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said: "We all loved working with Rian on The Last Jedi.
"He's a creative force and watching him craft The Last Jedi from start to finish was one of the great joys of my career. Rian will do amazing things with the blank canvas of this new trilogy."
The original franchise, created by George Lucas, has nine films, including The Last Jedi and the final instalment known as Star Wars: Episode IX, which is set to be released in 2019 and is being directed by JJ Abrams.
Johnson's new trilogy will expand the Star Wars universe further and will include new characters.
The space opera franchise has seen several other spin-offs, including anthology film Rogue One and the forthcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is scheduled for release in December.