This article is from the rec.arts.sf.movies FAQ, by Evelyn C. Leeper firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
There are groups under the rec.arts.sf.starwars hierarchy that exist to
discuss this, and a FAQ for new STAR WARS films posted there. However,
The first installement of a prequel-trilogy, STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE
PHANTOM MENACE, was released in the US on 19 May 1999.
EPISODE II & III are scheduled for release in 2001 and 2003. George Lucas
is currently putting the finishing touches to the script of EPISODE II and
shooting will commence early next year in Australia. For more information
see http://www.starwars.com .
A digitally remastered SPECIAL EDITION of EPISODES IV-VI containing
additional footage was released in 1997 to mark the 20th anniversary
of the first STAR WARS film.
Lots of books, comics and other stories that have been released are
supposedly *not* directly related to the new films. These were
additional merchandising items and George Lucas has said that he will
not take into account the continuity created by these tie-in products.
(And by the way, the first STAR WARS film was originally released as
just "STAR WARS"; it was only in re-release that it was entitled "STAR
WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE", although it is subject to many a
heated discussion when exactly the title was amended. The other two
were always labeled "EPISODE V" and "EPISODE VI.")
[Provided by Chris Dato.]