A new Star Wars rumor has surfaced that’s kind of obvious, but also intriguing with regards to the details. Years ago, when George Lucas was still running Lucasfilm, a massive live-action Star Wars TV show was in active development. Lucas rounded up a bunch of talented writers (including Battlestar Galactica‘s Ronald D. Moore) and began mapping out close to 100 episodes of the potential series, which were then subsequently written. Lucas understood that the world of VFX at the time was too cost-prohibitive to make the TV show work, but he and producer Rick McCallum were confident that the technology would soon become cheap enough to make the TV series viable, and so they simply waited, with multiple seasons of this show already written. McCallum even went so far as to reveal that the darker tone of the series was “like Empire on steroids.”
Obviously that series never came to pass and Lucas is no longer involved with Lucasfilm (now run by Kathleen Kennedy), but Star Wars is a massively popular IP and television has become a haven for good storytelling, so clearly the studio will be doing something in the live-action realm. If a new rumor is to be believed, that something may come to fruition sooner rather than later.
A site called Cinelinx (via /Film)—which so far is untested, so take this with a grain of salt—is reporting that a live-action Star Wars TV show is ramping up, but is currently in a holding pattern until the schedules for the Star Wars movies is solidified. Apparently the plan is to shoot the TV series at Pinewood Studios in London, using the same sets as the movies. Once the schedule for the films is hammered out, Lucasfilm can begin setting dates in between the film shoots for the TV show to take over the stages.
This would give some serious continuity between the Star Wars TV show and the Star Wars films, offering production value akin to the movies rather than having the TV series look very clearly like a brand offshoot (ahem Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). It’s actually a fine idea, but word is that the production schedules of Rogue One (Gareth Edwards’s spinoff) and Star Wars: Episode VIII will be running very close together, so there may not be a gap for a while.
It’s unclear if this new live-action series would be drawing from any of the scripts that Lucas commissioned, but that show was to revolve around young Han Solo, Boba Fett, Lando, and other Star Wars characters, so it may interfere with Lucasfilm’s plans for the film universe. Moreover, Cinelinx hints that Lucasfilm is toying with the idea of using a book character in the Star Wars TV series, though the site doesn’t elaborate.
I’m actually most interested to see where this proposed Star Wars TV show would end up. Lucasfilm’s animated series Star Wars Rebels airs on Disney XD, but if they use the film stages for the live-action show, the production value will be great, so I’d be curious to see if Disney would venture into pay cable territory like HBO or if they’d go the network route like they did with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Honestly the ideal scenario would probably be Netflix, since the streaming service offers a huge amount of creative control.
But I’m getting ahead of myself—right now this is simply a rumor, and even if it’s true, the Star Wars TV show won’t be in front of our eyeballs for a few years yet. Still, it’s an exciting possibility.