What Happened The Star Wars: Underworld Series?

Are you ready for "Deadwood in space?"

By David Wharton | Published

Star Wars: Underworld

Was there ever a chance for Star Wars: Underworld? Well, it seemed like it was getting close back in 2013. At the time, one of the most intriguing surprises of the whole Disney/Lucasfilm buyout was the sheer ambition Disney demonstrated in making the most of its new franchise.

The announcement of a new trilogy of films would have been noteworthy enough, but Disney went much further than that, aiming to imitate the Marvel approach of creating a vast, interwoven cinematic universe. And they did it.

One of the questions when the merger first happened, was what would happen with various Star Wars properties already in development. One of them was Star Wars: Underworld, the proposed TV series that was in the works since Yoda was knee-high to a midi-chlorian.

The subject of Star Wars: Underworld future was addressed, at least sort of, at the time.

EW raised the Star Wars: Underworld topic during an interview with ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee, and he gave an enthusiastic but noncommittal response saying, “We’d love to do something with Lucasfilm, we’re not sure what yet. We haven’t even sat down with them. We’re going to look at [the live-action series], we’re going to look at all of them, and see what’s right. We weren’t able to discuss this with them until [the acquisition] closed and it just closed. It’s definitely going to be part of the conversation.”

Star Wars: Underworld as “part of the conversation” was a long way from “coming this fall to ABC,” but it was still a more optimistic appraisal of the show’s chances than we’ve heard in a long time.

The Star Wars: Underworld project began in the early 2000s, instigated by Lucasfilm producer Rick McCallum. He brought in talented folks such as Battlestar Galactica’s Ron Moore to pen fifty scripts for the series, but they mostly just gathered dust ever since.

Given the expectations put on a live-action Star Wars series by fans, it’s not terribly surprising that they’ve never made it to air, especially when you factor in the goal to give the show top-notch special effects on a TV budget.

At the time, Star Wars: Underworld was compared to “Deadwood in Space,” and it had the potential to be the darker, more mature approach to the Star Wars universe that many fans were hoping to get from the prequels…assuming it ever makes it to air.

Star Wars: Underworld was slated to take place between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, exploring the criminal underworld and seedy underbelly of the galaxy under the Empire’s rule.

Apparently, the plan was to feature new characters as well as some established ones like a young Princess Leia, Saw Gerrera from The Clone Wars, and the origins of Han Solo meeting Chewbacca and winning the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian (the latter was later used in Solo: A Star Wars Story).

As the years went on, we know this show, in essence, did get made. First, it was in the form of Rogue One and then Andor, which combined the above elements with the rise of the Resistance against the Empire.

ABC had success moving a big movie franchise onto the small screen when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. took the Marvel Cinematic Universe there (mostly). And maybe Star Wars: Underworld would have worked in much the same way. But Disney+ came along for all of our Star Wars series content, and that was probably for the best.

Subscribe For

Star Wars News

Expect a confirmation email if you subscribe!