With announcements of two new Star Wars animated series, a live-action Star Wars TV show, and a potential 3D re-release of the films, it remains obvious that George Lucas is going to continue milking his (partially) beloved franchise for all its worth. But for now, there’s a significant complication that may derail momentum on the live-action television series, at least until Lucas and co. figure out how to return to their thrifty roots. Learn more after the break.
Comic Book Movie has an update from Lucas on the project and—assuming anybody was excited for this—it doesn’t inspire much hope:
The live action TV show is kind of on hold because we have scripts, but we don’t know how to do them. They literally are Star Wars, only we’re going to have to try to do them at a tenth the cost. And it’s a huge challenge, a lot bigger than what we thought it was gonna be.
I’m not sure how they didn’t realize ahead of time that movies with $115 million budgets don’t convert easily to affordable TV episodes, but I would think the solution would be obvious: Scrap the green screen fakery, and go old school. C’mon Lucas, remember A New Hope? The budget for that film was $11 million—a tenth of any of the prequels’ (though that isn’t adjusting for inflation)—and audiences even prefer the slightly deteriorated feel of that movie and its counterparts.
And considering that the series is set within Episode III and IV, there’s even potential here to bring a sort of meta spin to the Star Wars canon, bridging the gap between the two trilogies by transitioning from its current digital artifice to the scrappy style of the originals.
It’s not like big-budget sci-fi shows like these can’t be successful. Battlestar Galactica utilized its budget very well in its subsequent seasons, and has been without question one of SyFy’s most lucrative offerings. There’s no need for the Star Wars TV series to have a budget exceeding that of Battlestar‘s or Firefly‘s, and even if it did, the built-in fanbase would already ensure it a much larger audience. I wouldn’t watch it, mind you, but I’m certain there are a dozen or so million that would.