A brand-new Star Wars trilogy is in the works

There's a disturbance in the force. But not, it seems, in Lucasfilm's future earnings.

The company that put Darth Vader and Yoda on our movie screens whipped fans into a frenzy on Friday with the announcement that it is developing a brand-new Star Wars trilogy.

The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson will create the next instalment of the beloved sci-fi series along with longtime collaborator and Israeli film producer Ram Bergman.

It was also revealed the new trilogy will be entirely separate from the Skywalker family saga that has gripped audiences for four decades. The films will explore new characters as well as a brand-new corner of the galaxy far, far away.

Fans have speculated the new series could be set in the Old Republic, which means next trilogy could be set a thousand years before the events of The Phantom Menace.

In a statement, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said Johnson was entrusted with shepharding the Star Wars universe into a new era following to his work on The Last Jedi, which hits cinemas next month.

"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," she said. "Rian will do amazing things with the blank canvas of this new trilogy."

In a joint statement, both Johnson and Bergman said Star Wars is the "greatest modern mythology" ever made and they cannot wait to get stuck into working on the new series.

The Last Jedi and its sequel are due to be released on December 14 and December 2019 respectively, while a standalone Han Solo film will come out sometime next year.