With news that Disney has acquired LucasFilms, speculation is growing as to the nature of the studio's planned Star Wars Episode 7. Though he'll work as an advisor, George Lucas will not produce or direct the film, essentially leaving his best-loved franchise open for Disney to tweak how they see fit.

According to E! Online, the next movie is likely to be based on the Heir to the Empire trilogy - a series of best-selling novels by Timothy Zahn set in the Expanded Universe of the Star Wars galaxy. The books take place approximately five years after the events depicted in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Die hard Star Wars fans know the trilogy well, and Eric Geller of fan site TheForce.net said, "Of all the speculation out there about the content of this new trilogy, that's the single most concrete idea.It's almost inevitable that the story will take place in the same time frame as those books." So what happens in the books exactly? Well, Luke Skywalker meets a would-be assassin named Mara Jade, who was trained to avenge the Emperor by killing Luke, the last remaining Jedi. Princess Leia and Han Solo also feature prominently in the books, having twins together. A source close to the LucasFilm deal suggests the new film will be based on an original story, so, who knows!

Disney has acquired LucasFilms in a deal worth around $4 billion, with around half of the money to be coughed up in cash. Crikey.