I've seen a little confusion and speculation on here regarding the number of Star Wars Episodes we may see. I think there are a few things worth discussing on this topic that directly relate to what we may expect to see in Episode VII and beyond. First, Disney-Lucasfilm has only announced Episodes VII-IX, and then "more new movies", presumably stand-alone films and/or new series. The confusion seems to stem from this vague description as well as Lucas's early notes which lay out 12 films, which was recently posted on the StarWars.com blog. It's important to note that there are 12 films in his original outline, however there are really only 3 trilogies within that, bookended by prologue, interlude and conclusion films. Just based on what little we know, it's a safe assumption that the ideas for these bookend movies were condensed and incorporated into their respective trilogies. Also, whether there are 9 or 12 episodes has a huge bearing on what we can expect from the story in the Sequel Trilogy. If there are 9 films total, then the 3rd trilogy serves as the 3rd act of the Episodic Saga, and so the story must directly relate to the previous 2 trilogies. If it was unrelated, there would be no need to make it a continuation of the Episodes, but rather it's own series. However, if there are 12 films, that means there will be 4 trilogies total, and since 4 acts in a story generally isn't done, it's possible that the 2 new trilogies form their own saga, a counterpart to the saga we have. I sincerely doubt there are 12 Episodes total, as I think that is an old approach Lucas has long-since changed to a more natural 9 Episodes. In addition, all writers in Hollywood use the 3-act structure and know this is the 3rd trilogy. So, if the Sequel Trilogy is then the 3rd act of the Star Wars saga, I think we can narrow down what we can expect to see from the story. For me, this makes it clear that there won't be a brand new threat, but rather some form of the dark side and/or Empire, as a direct follow up to the events of the OT. If we look at the OT as the unresolved second act, what is the logical way to resolve the story?