October 30th, 2012 will forever mark the end of an era. It is the day George Lucas stepped away from Star Wars, selling Lucasfilm to Disney and passing leadership of the company over to Kathleen Kennedy. It’s a day many fans waited for.

Anyone displeased with George Lucas’s Star Wars prequels – and their upcoming 3D re-releases – can now target their anticipation towards the year 2015, when the first non-Lucas film in the franchise is planned for release. But Lucas will still serve as a “creative consultant” on Episode 7 and its sequels so what does that mean?

At the 2012 Governors Awards this weekend, hosted by American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles, Access Hollywood caught up with Lucas and inquired about just how involved he will be with the Star Wars franchise going forward.

“[If the filmmakers ask],’Who’s this guy?’ I can tell them. I mean, they have a hundred encyclopedias and things, but I actually know a lot. I can say, ‘This is this and this is that.'”

In terms of how involved he really will be with the production of the next Star Wars and the following episodes and rumored spinoffs:

“Basically I’m not — I don’t really have much to do.”

There you have it. When Lucas passed the torch, so to speak, by selling his company to Disney, he really meant it when he said he was moving on. He’ll be there as a source of canonical information, as someone who may know the details or relationships of certain characters that perhaps were only briefly touched on in the six films so far, but the new scripts will tell a new story and the new director will direct without answering to Lucas.

This is what Lucas said upon the official announcement of the Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm and it rings true with his description of his involvement in Star Wars going forward:

“It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime.”

This is good news all around as Star Wars needs to be refreshed and taken into a new direction. At the same time, having Lucas there in some capacity, supportive of the franchise going forward, and still involved – however loosely – can only be a positive thing as he won’t be able to interfere, but will be able to help provide ideas and information on the universe he crafted, the universe we’re so excited to see return in 2015.

What’s especially interesting about his involvement is that it lends credence to the rumors and reports that Star Wars: Episode 7 will see the return of characters we know and love from the original trilogy. Why else would they need his knowledge? Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford cannot avoid questions about their interest in returning and perhaps it’s a no-brainer that their characters will have a part to play since the next Star Wars movie is continuing the saga.

It’s also possible that the screenplay for Episode 7 and the scripts in-development for Star Wars 8 & 9 are drawing inspiration and story ideas from the treatments drafted by George Lucas himself for another two full trilogies (episodes 7-12) that Dale Pollock, author of the 1984 George Lucas biography, Skywalking: The Life And Films Of George Lucas, claims to have read. Pollock believes Disney wants to use those story ideas and that they were a big motivator for their interest in Lucasfilm. Although other reports hint at a more likely scenario of an original story (sorry, Admiral Thrawn), Pollack’s claims would give more reason for Lucas to still be involved.

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Star Wars: Episode VII hits theaters in 2015.

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Source: Access Hollywood