For more than a decade now, rumors have persisted that in some form or another, a live-action Star Wars TV show was going to make its way to TV. After Disney purchased all of Lucasfilm in 2012, the company poured most of their focus into making sure that Star Wars: The Force Awakens went well so that they could get fans on board with the idea of more Star Wars. Now they have the good faith restored, and it is time to start developing other projects. And one of those projects may finally be that small screen Star Wars series we've often heard so much about.
ABC recently made a presentation at the Television Critics Association press tour, and to the delight of many fans, it was revealed that they have been discussing the prospect of a Star Wars show with Lucasfilm. The network's new president Channing Dungey was the one who got everyone's hopes up, and he seems quite enthusiastic about the prospect. Here's what he had to say.
"Oh, as a fan, I would absolutely love to say 'yes.' The conversations with Lucas, we have had conversations with them and will continue to have conversations with them. I think it would be wonderful if we could find a way to extend that brand into our programming."
Disney just so happens to own ABC, so it makes sense that conversations between the network and Lucasfilm have been taking place. Granted Dungey's statement isn't the most firm thing we have ever encountered, but it is encouraging. But let's say these statements go the most exciting way possible and a live-action Star Wars TV does get greenlit over at ABC. Dungey's statements didn't reveal anything about what the show could possibly be about.
After George Lucas finished up the Star Wars prequel trilogy, he decided to start developing a show based in a galaxy far far away, and as the story goes, there are more than 50 scripts for that show sitting in a vault somewhere. So we know that the groundwork exists for a Star Wars TV show, but we know very little about what that show would look like, or even if that would be the show that ABC moved forward with.
The Star Wars universe is insanely ripe with possibility, and TV has been an excellent extension of the lore so far. With how much we have been able to get from animated shows like Rebels and The Clone Wars, it is hard not to get excited about the possibilities that exist in a live-action Star Wars TV show. So what exactly is that show going to be about? Well, we've got some ideas.
The Jedi Academy
There is no doubt that the idea of a live-action Star Wars TV show is alive and well, but if the show lands on ABC, it will have to find a very large audience, and it will have to be relatively family friendly. We wouldn't likely be getting the gritty Boba Fett murder-centric, bounty hunter, kill contract show, or anything like that. So, something like seeing Jedi Knights getting trained would make a lot of sense. The name Jedi Academy comes from a video game released back in 2003, but the idea that Jedi Knights have institutional training is a long standing idea in the Star Wars universe. It would make a lot of sense for a network TV show.
The video game, Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, took place shortly after Return of the Jedi with Luke Skywalker setting up a base on Yavin 4 to train a new generation of Jedi. It isn't likely that would be the plot a show would follow, but the Jedi have a long history in the Star Wars universe, so the show could be set in a lot of various time periods and it could work. We could be introduced to a lot of new characters, but there would be enough familiarity for it to work. Not only that, but getting a good, in-depth look at the training of a Jedi Knight is something pretty much any Star Wars fan could get behind. This is an idea that will likely be pursued at some point, and maybe ABC will make it a sooner rather than later kind of thing.
One thing that a Star Wars TV show would be really benefited by, if it does indeed land on a major network, is some name recognition. Yes, Star Wars has about as much name recognition as possible, but in terms of characters, that would also be helpful. The time gap between what happened at the end of Revenge of the Sith and what happened at the beginning of A New Hope is significant. That being the case, there is a big chunk of Obi-Wan Kenobi's life that we don't know much about. It isn't incredibly likely that Ewan McGregor, who has expressed interest in returning to the role for a movie, would want to deal with a rigorous network TV schedule. However, this is Star Wars and almost anything is possible. Seeing McGregor as Obi-Wan on Tatooine and going through his adventures week to week would be really fun. No doubt, people would tune in for that show and there is a lot to mine for there in terms of story.
The Old Republic
Of anything that has ever been introduced in the history of the Star Wars expanded universe (except for maybe Thrawn), The Old Republic is one of the most rich and popular bits, and it would be prime for an adaptation at some point. For those who may not know, The Old Republic stuff takes place more than 3,000 years before the events of the original Star Wars movies. The focus is on a very tenuous peace that exists between the emerging threat of the Sith and the newly formed Galactic Republic. And, as with all great things Star Wars related, there is a whole lot of Jedi goodness to dig into. Between the comics, the online video game and novels, there is so much to mine for story with The Old Republic, and not to mention it is insanely popular among fans. Not only that, but it takes place so long ago in the Star Wars timeline that it wouldn't have to mess with what is going on currently in the movies very much.
As much as The Old Republic would be very cool to see, ABC may not be the right place for it. The show would likely be very expensive, and to do it right, it would probably have to go to some relatively dark places, which may not work for the super broad audience that ABC would need it to. It seems almost inevitable that we will see an Old Republic adaptation at some point, somewhere, but it might be a stretch for it to be at ABC with this proposed live-action series. It isn't impossible though, and it would be a pretty awesome bit of fan service on the part of Lucasfilm to do so.
Make It a Full-On Star Wars Anthology Series
This is something of a left field idea that isn't necessarily founded in anything concrete, but it is a possibility and is something of a very cool idea. As mentioned, and as any Star Wars fan knows, there is so much history and so many corners of the universe to explore that no single movie or show can really explore properly. So, the idea of an anthology series would work out very nicely. The show could go season to season, like Fargo or American Horror Story, and cover a new story arc each season. Even more interesting, the show could go Twilight Zone style and just go with a new story week to week and just tell a random story in the Star Wars universe. It would be so flexible and allow for so many stories to be told that it would almost seem hard to imagine that something like this won't happen at some point. Now, this might be a tough sell for Network TV, and also as the first live-action Star Wars show we have ever seen. But the flexibility of it would likely be appealing to everyone involved, so it's not at all impossible. At the very least, it's thrilling to think about.
Explore Star Wars: Underworld
As touched on previously, somewhere in a vault either at Skywalker Ranch in in some secret room at Lucasfilm, there are a bunch of scripts that are just ready to be produced for a Star Wars show. George Lucas had been developing the show, rumored to be titled Star Wars: Underworld, for a long time before shelving the project. However, since Disney purchased everything that was associated with Lucasfilm, they now own those scripts. The plot of Underworld is pretty much a secret, but we do know that it would help bridge the gap between the prequels and A New Hope, which would be very cool to see.
The fact that the show is already fairly developed, ABC could swoop in, dust it off, and get to work. Not only that, but it was being developed before streaming and cable TV as we know it really took off, so it was likely being developed with Network TV in mind. This would be the most likely form that live-action show would take on ABC, in some form or another. Also, that is a very interesting time for Star Wars history, and we could get to know characters like Palpatine in a way that we might not get the chance to otherwise. Don't be surprised if this show gets announced at some point in the next couple of years, if not sooner.
Right now, Disney and Lucasfilm are really focused on the movie side of things, as well as with publishing and merchandise. The primary focus right now is to get everyone behind Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and then they will be full steam ahead on Episode VIII. So, there is no doubt a live-action Star Wars show is going to happen at some point, but it may be longer than we, or ABC would like to wait, but it will happen. Either way, there are some really exciting ideas out there for a Star Wars TV show, and we can't wait to see which one happens first.