“A long time ago. In a galaxy far, far away,” before Disney acquired Lucasfilm, the studio was working on a Star Wars TV series that was said to be a dark and gritty version of the movies. Former producer Rick McCallum had even called the would-be series, then-titled Star Wars: Underworld, “Deadwood in space.”
So what happened? After George Lucas said that the series would cost too much to make (each episode would cost upwards of $5 million to produce), the series remained in development until production cost could be brought down. When Disney bought Lucasfilm, the Mouse House had plans for growing the brand further than just movies and animated shows. Since Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D experienced a successful premiere last week, with more than 20 million viewers, Disney is now re-considering returning to that project.
According to Blue Sky Disney, Lucasfilm and ABC are once again looking to launch Star Wars as an episodic TV show. The website states that a few ideas are kicking around and suggest the series could take place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, or between Return of the Jedi and the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII. While the subject matter wouldn’t be as dark as Deadwood—this is ABC we’re talking about—it would likely fall into the PG-13 range.
With the animated series Star Wars: Rebels waiting for us in 2014, it’s unlikely that Lucasfilm will consider any new properties before the release of Star Wars: Episode VII in 2015. If the new series takes place between the original trilogy and the new films, the studio could play off of the new mythology. If Lucasfilm wants to be ambitious, they could easily take a cue from Marvel and set the new TV series between Episode VII and Episode VIII as a way to connect the movies.
At the moment, all Star Wars TV talk falls in the “what if” category, so take this new info with a grain of salt. A few months ago, Paul Lee, the president of ABC Entertainment Group, said that he was taking meetings with Kathleen Kennedy and Lucasfilm for a potential Star Wars TV series. At the time, Lee said that Lucasfilm had a full plate getting Star Wars: Episode VII together for 2015.
Since the acquisition in October 2012, Lucasfilm has focused the majority of its attention on Star Wars: Episode VII. It seems like after 2015, Lucasfilm might dive deeper into proper spinoffs and all different sorts of branding. If the studio really is following in the footsteps of Marvel, the comic book studio didn’t really release any new properties until Iron Man was a successful film in 2008. It also seems like Lucasfilm is waiting until Star Wars: Episode VII in 2015 to take advantage of all Disney has to offer.