Books, films, music, video games — you would think that there’s no corner of the media universe that the Star Wars franchise has yet to conquer … but you’d be wrong. To date, there has never been a live-action Star Wars television series and, according to TV Line, that frontier will remain unexplored for the foreseeable future.
“They [Lucasfilm] are focused on their movies,” commented Paul Lee, president of the Disney-owned ABC network, adding that, “We don’t have any plans at the moment.” Disney, of course, also owns Lucasfilm, and an unnamed Lucasfilm rep added simply that, “Our current focus for TV is on animation.”
This wasn’t always the case, however, as George Lucas himself was once working on a live-action series.
Back in 2005, Star Wars: Underworld was in development, and the story of two families jostling for control of the scoundrel-filled underbelly of a galaxy far, far, away was being billed by Lucasfilm producer Rick McCallum as “Deadwood in space.” Apparently, producers were taking the idea seriously enough that 50 different scripts were produced for the show, many of them penned by esteemed and accomplished writers. But when Disney purchased Lucasfilm, priorities shifted and the film franchise took precedence.
Given the astronomical, record-breaking, money-printing success of The Force Awakens, it’s tough to argue with that decision in retrospect. An anonymous industry insider also told TV Line that not doing a series is “smart brand management” and added, “I imagine they’re looking to avoid the ‘Marvel-ization’ of the franchise.” Even JJ Abrams weighed in, saying, “since my TV deal is at [Warner Bros.], it is unlikely that [my production company] Bad Robot will be involved in any Star Wars television projects.”
Despite recent rumors that Netflix was talking to Disney about the possibility of a live-action series, it seems that the idea is very much on the back burner for now … if it’s even on the stove at all.
Looks like those anxiously awaiting more Star Wars will need to wait for Rogue One (December 16, 2016) or the recently delayed Episode VIII (December 15, 2017) to get their fix.