Here is a short history of what has been going on with the Star Wars franchise since 1977:
MAY 25, 1977- Star Wars opens in 32 theaters and earns $ 3 million in its first week and $ 100 million by August. At the time, this was the quickest a film had ever earned $ 100 mill in the U.S..
MAY 30, 1977- In a Time magazine, George Lucas says that he has a goal of creating independent, small films.
JUNE 5, 1977- In the L.A. Times, George Lucas that he won't direct the Star Wars sequels himself instead Irvin Kershner takes the helm for the Empire Strikes Back. Directing Star Wars was the worst directing experience of his life and vows not direct again for a very, very long time.
AUGUST 25, 1977- In Rolling Stones magazine, Lucas states that he believes that the sequels will be much better in terms of story structure and special effects. He also hinted that he may have wanted to direct the third movie of the trilogy. He also stated that one of the last two film of the trilogy would probably deal with story of a young Ben Kenobi.
MARCH 6, 1978- Time magazine reported that Lucas was to set up four corporations that will make Star Wars II, and continue to make TEN other planned sequels. Lucas also stated that he would rather not direct for a while, and would probably continue directing 20 years later.
NOVEMBER 30, 1979- Variety reported that Lucasfilm signed a deal with Paramount to create Raiders of the Lost Ark and continue to do FOUR sequels to the film. Lucas was already well on the way to developing the Indiana Jones saga.
MARCH 7, 1980- The L.A. Reader reported that Lucas envisioned Star Wars as three trilogies, or nine movies. He said that they wouldn't be finished for another 20 years.
MAY 21, 1980- The Empire Strikes Back opens and shatters box-office records.
SPRING 1980- The Bantha Tracks newsletter reports that Lucas has officially cut the number of films from twelve to nine.
AUGUST 21, 1980- Lucas states that the trilogy began in the beginning because it was essential for the revealing of the plot.
SEPTEMBER 23, 1980- The L.A. Times reports that Lucas planned on the series ending in the year 2004.
JUNE 15, 1981- Newsweek quoted Lucas as saying, "When video takes over, we won't need labs anymore. Revenge of the Jedi is the last picture we'll shoot on film.
MAY 18, 1983- The Press-Telegram reported that Lucas had announced that he wanted to take a couple of years off.
MAY 25, 1983- Return of the Jedi opens and shatters box-office records by earning over $ 30 million in its first week of release.
MAY 29, 1983- The L.A. Times reported the Lucas was really down-playing the next trilogy. Lucas was quoted as saying," The film cannot demand my time anymore." Lucas decides to take a very long break from making Star Wars film and will return when the time is right.
JULY 21, 1983- Rolling Stone reported that Lucas was planning on doing the next trilogy. Lucas noted that the next three would probably be filmed all at once in order to be cost effective.
NOVEMBER 5, 1987- In a Rolling Stone interview, Lucas basically said that he wanted to do the next films, but there was other stories out of the Star Wars realm that he wanted to tell first: Howard the Duck, Willow, Tucker, Indiana Jones, Radioland Murders, etc.
MAY 30, 1990- The L.A. Times reported that Lucas was considering extending the Star Wars series within the next five to seven years.
JUNE 3, 1991- Variety magazine quoted Lucasfilm spokeswoman Lynne Hale as saying that there wasn't a specific completion date for the next trilogy. Although Lucas was beginning to get that feel again like it was time to start the pre-production of the next Star Wars trilogy.
JANUARY 27, 1992- The New York Times reported Lucas as saying that another Star Wars or Indiana Jones didn't interest him at the time. He basically was dry of the creative energy needed to make the films, and he said that The Young Indiana Jones TV series interested him more. Lucas was use this series to advance experimental "non-linear" production techniques that would be utilized in the Prequel Trilogy of films.
MARCH 31, 1992- Variety magazine reported Lucas as expecting to finish the second trilogy in another five years.
FEBRUARY 24, 1993- The Hollywood Reporter said that Lucas concedes that the next trilogy will take advantage of digital technology.
MARCH 9, 1993- Lucas still wrapped up in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicals.
OCTOBER 4, 1993- Variety magazine reported that Lucas will begin the next trilogy and that they will be shot simultaneously within the next four years. Lucas believe that with Jurassic Park the digital-animation age has arrived and the technology needed to pull off the stunning visual effects for the prequels now exist.
MARCH 7, 1994- Variety magazine reports that Lucas has decided to direct one of the next films. He also said that he hoped to complete the films by the year 2000.
OCTOBER 20, 1994- The New York Times said that now that Radioland Murders had been completed, Lucas was going to focus on the next Star Wars trilogy.
NOVEMBER 18, 1994- Entertainment Today quoted Lucas as saying, "I'll take a year to write them, a year to prepare them and a year to shoot them. And I'll shoot them all at once." Episode 1 (The Old Republic), Episode 2 (Crusaders of the Force) and Episode 3 (Rise of the New Order).
FEBRUARY 24, 1995- Screen International reported that Lucas was going to take a year to write the next trilogy, and that Lucas was going to take full advantage of the new progresses in CGI technology to push the technology envelope to its farthest possibilities.
MAY 31, 1995- Variety magazine reported that Lucas was hard at work writing the new films, and that he is likely to direct one of them. Also, Lucas said that he hopes to get the first film in theaters in 1998. Lucas also said that hopefully they will start building sets and start shooting in 1996.
August 7, 1998- starwars.com reports that Episode 1 will be released in North America on May 21, 1999.