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Like Empire on steroids: ABC president talks Star Wars live-action TV show

It’s hard to believe that months have already passed since the world’s population suffered some kind of mass hallucination that led them to believe that the Star Wars universe had been wrenched from the maniacal hands of George Lucas and sold to Disney. People believed there would be a new Star Wars trilogy with Luke Skywalker in it! Madness!

Actually, all of those things were true. Disney paid a whopping $4.05 billion for Lucasfilm and its various subsidiaries, announcing the purchase with all the passion and fanfare of a law firm merger. The announcement did confirm that new sequels would be made, and there is potential for spin-offs galore. What wasn’t mentioned in the time is the long-in-development live-action Star Wars television series first announced back in 2005. Never one to leave a stone unturned, there are hints that Disney is resurrecting that project for air on its network television subsidiary ABC.

“We’d love to do something with Lucasfilm, we’re not sure what yet,” ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee told Entertainment Weekly on Friday, “We haven’t even say 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 a part of the conversation.”

Back in 2011, George Lucas said that 50 scripts for the live-action show had been written and former Star Wars producer Rick McCallum described the show as “dark and adult.” “I think, thematically, in terms of characters and what they go through, it will be… if we can get it together and George really wants to pursue it, it’ll be the awesomest part of the whole franchise.” He then called it “Empire on steroids.”

Since the show was announced in 2005 alongside plans for the ongoing Clone Wars cartoon series, rumors have suggested that the show would follow members of the criminal underworld in the Star Wars universe, including bounty hunters like Boba Fett. One recent piece of Star Wars media, the in-development video game Star Wars 1313, is set to explore that same territory.

That premise would make a good fit for ABC. Its other in-development genre television show, Joss Whedon’s Avengers spinoff S.H.I.E.L.D., will follow law enforcement so there needs to be a show about rogues to balance it out.

“It’s going to be very much up to the Lucasfilm brands and how they want to play it,” said ABC’s Lee, “We got to a point here with Marvel, a very special point, where we’re in the Marvel universe, and very relevantly so, but we’re not doing The Avengers. But S.H.I.E.L.D. is part of The Avengers. So maybe something oblique is way [to approach the Star Wars universe] rather than going straight head-on at it.”

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