Posted on Thursday, January 10th, 2013 by Germain Lussier
When a company as large as Disney buys a company as large as LucasFilm, the possibilities for new projects are endless. Movies, merchandise, theme parks, anything under the sun is possibly when you’re talking about Mickey Mouse and Darth Vader. We know for sure that new Star Wars movies are in the works, but at the recent Television Critics Association press event the president of ABC Entertainment Paul Lee was asked about LucasFilm being incorporated on the TV side. ABC, of course, is one of many TV outlets owned by Disney.
Lee said that ABC would love to do something with LucasFilm and, in the near future, they’d be taking a look at those 50 scripts for a live action Star Wars TV show George Lucas and Rick McCallum have placed on a shelf for the past few years. Scripts that were deemed to expensive for TV. With Disney now controlling the rights to everything, that might just be the spark to get the live action Star Wars series going.
After the jump, read Lee’s quotes on the matter as well as a few more details on the rumored story of the Star Wars TV series.
All of the following information came from an article with Entertainment Weekly. Here’s Lee:
We’d love to do something with Lucasfilm, we’re not sure what yet. We haven’t even sat 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 part of the conversation.
To recap, George Lucas and former LucasFilm producer Rick McCallum have 50 hours worth of scripts set in the Star Wars universe that they’ve been interested in making. Those scripts are set between Episodes III and IV and focus on the underbelly of the capitol planet of Courscant. It’s been described as The Godfather in the Star Wars universe. However, because the scripts were so visually expansive, ultimately priced at roughly $5 million per episode, McCallum and Lucas didn’t think they’d be affordable for a regular TV network. They decided to put them on a shelf until they could come up with a cheaper way of producing them.
The change with the current situation is that, when Lucas and McCallum priced those episodes, they were also considering the cost a TV channel would have to pay LucasFilm for the right to create the show, on top of production costs. Now, Disney just owns the company, so that licensing fee isn’t part of the equation anymore. The price has come down a bit.
A bigger challenge is Disney’s concern about possibly over-saturating the market with Star Wars too quickly. Star Wars Episode VII will be out in 2015. Often, people don’t want the same property on TV and at the movie theater simultaneously. (EW gives the example of Batman TV shows coming off the air while Christopher Nolan’s films were being produced.) Here’s Lee again:
It’s going to be very much up to the Lucasfilm brands how they want to play it. 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 doingThe Avengers. But S.H.I.E.L.D. is part of The Avengers. So maybe something oblique is the way to [approach the Star Wars universe] rather than going straight head-on at it.
EW’s article also has a slightly more details plot description of the show, which you can read here:
Sources say the live-action series centers on the story of rival families struggling over the control of the seedy underside of the Star Wars universe and the people who live within the subterranean level and air shafts of the metropolis planet Coruscant (the Empire’s urban-sprawl-covered home planet). A bounty hunter may be the main character. Set between the original Star Wars film trilogy and the prequels, the time period allows for all sorts of potential appearances from classic figures from the Star Wars universe.
Apparently, in addition to the scripts (some of which are by Ron Moore of Battlestar Galactica) there are already costume designs, concept art and more produced for the show, though some of it might have already gone toward the upcoming Star Wars 1313 video game, which has a similar setting, a connection the internet made some months ago.
So while it’s not a guarantee, it’s a breath of life has uplifted a project many of us thought was dead and buried for sure. Do you think ABC will resurrect the live action Star Wars TV show?