I think we all knew deep down that Episodes VII-IX would happen someday. George was always gonna go back on that because $$$ just like he's gone back on a lot of other things he's said over the years because $$$. To me it was just like an official OOT restoration. It was gonna happen eventually, it was simply a matter of when.
The real shocker was that it ended up happening so soon (barely a decade after the last movie) and under these circumstances (Lucasfilm getting bought out by Disney). I would've thought that by the time Jedi's 3D version arrived in theaters in 2017 we'd be hearing about an ST coming our way in 2021 or something, probably shot in native 3D since George is crazy about digital and would want to one-up Avatar. My thinking was that the 3D I-VI would be the '97 SE to the ST's PT, if you follow my analogy. The only difference is that George would hire other directors and screenwriters and stick to just writing the story and producing.
By that point the live-action show set between the PT and OT (haha, remember all these things that were gonna happen?!) would've finally gotten off the ground and they could make little connections (think TNG while Star Trek V and VI were coming out, or Enterprise with Nemesis) and start "ramping up" to Episode VII in the 40 years later EU books (no EU reboot, Chewie would still be dead).
When that out-of-the-blue announcement happened almost two years ago (and I'll never forget how I got the news), one of my first thoughts was "they're saving Star Wars from its own creator." GL got his independence from Hollywood back in the day, and that was a good thing ... for a time. Then we got the SE and the PT the GOUT. I'm not saying those same things never could've happened had Star Wars been another Hollywood-owned franchise, but c'mon, they most likely wouldn't have. How many times had I thought "man, if this massive franchise wasn't owned by its creator, we'd have a restored OOT by now."
Sure, it was sad to see George "sell out" to Hollywood, but in many ways he'd sold out long ago. Besides, someone here had an Orson Welles quote in their sig that summed it up pretty well: "The absence of limitations is the enemy of art." It's that tug of war between the studio and the filmmakers that produces something neither would've gotten on their own. That's Star Wars, that's Empire Strikes Back and, hopefully, that'll be Episode VII.