This month's 'Star Wars' 40th anniversary was a real hit with everybody, and in the wake of that comes the official release date for 'Star Wars: Episode IX'. But even now that George Lucas is no longer tied to the franchise, he still enjoys reunion celebrations.

George Lucas at 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' premiereGeorge Lucas at 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' premiere

During the 'Star Wars' 40th anniversary event, creator George Lucas admitted that he enjoyed getting to see everyone involved in the movies again, despite the fact that his work on the series was over before 'The Force Awakens' came out in 2015.

'The best part was just being able to see everybody again', he said on the red carpet. 'Like a high school reunion or a family Thanksgiving dinner. That's always fun, just to be with everybody.' Indeed, getting to bump into Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill again must have been a joyous occasion, though obviously tinted with sadness as they paid tribute to the late Carrie Fisher who died in December 2016. 

The next movie to be released, following last year's 'Rogue One', is 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi', which has been directed and written by Rian Johnson ('Looper', 'Breaking Bad') and sees the return of Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Gwendoline Christie, Oscar Isaac and Carrie's daughter Billie Lourd. Tom Hardy is also rumoured to be making an appearance as a stormtrooper, while Laura Dern, Benicio Del Toro and even 'X Factor' judge Gary Barlow have also been added to the cast.

More: 'Stars Wars: Episode IX' gets a release date

'The Last Jedi' is set to be released on December 15th 2017, while it's follow-up 'Episode IX' has just been giving the tentative release date of May 24th 2019 and will be directed by Colin Trevorrow. Meanwhile, the as-yet-untitled Han Solo spin-off movie is expected to arrive on May 25th 2018 with Phil Lord and Christopher Miller directing and Alden Ehrenreich starring in the lead role.