Photo: wired.com

For all you Star Wars fans, the wait is over! Walt Disney Co’s chief executive officer Bob Iger said on Tuesday at the company’s annual shareholders meeting that the highly anticipated next instalment of the Star Wars franchise will be set 30 years after Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.

Disney purchased Star Wars production company LucasFilm for $4.05bn in 2012 and announced it would release three new films in the popular sci-fi series. Fans have been avidly awaiting details of the next film, Star Wars: Episode VII.

Rumours have swirled for over a year on whether some of the franchise’s stars, including Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, would return. Trade magazines have reported that rising stars including Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o and Girls actor Adam Driver were being considered. Episode VII will be released on 18 December 2015, and will be directed by JJ Abrams, who helmed the recent “Star Trek” film franchise reboot.