star wars underworld details

George Lucas’ Star Wars: Underworld series was one of many projects lost during the Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm. The long-in-development live-action series was a source of excitement for many Star Wars fans, who gobbled up new rumors, concept art leaks, and reports of scripts being written. Alas, the project never came to be, but former Star Wars: Underworld writer Ronald D. Moore, who recently developed Starz’s hit series Outlander, has revealed some details about the scrapped Star Wars series.

Moore has an impressive sci-fi resume, having worked as a writer and producer on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager, as well as the Battlestar Galactica reboot series, which likely earned him a spot as one of the writers hired by George Lucas to work on Star Wars: Underworld. But just because a writing team was assembled didn’t mean the series was ready to go. Moore revealed in an interview with Collider that Lucas hired the huge team of writers to work on concepts that Lucas told them could be “as big as you want, and we’ll figure it out later.”

“The theory was George wanted to write all the scripts and get ‘em all done and then he was gonna go off and figure out how to produce them,” Moore said:

“I was one of several, there was a bunch of international writers they assembled… we would gather up at Skywalker Ranch once every six to eight weeks, something like that. And we would break stories together, and right after we’d go off and write some drafts and bring ‘em back, and George and we would sit down and critique them, and then do another draft and break more stories… It was great! It was a ball, it was a lot of fun. It didn’t happen ultimately, we wrote I’d say somewhere in the 40-something, 48 scripts, something like that… the theory was George wanted to write all the scripts and get ‘em all done and then he was gonna go off and figure out how to produce them, because he wanted to do a lot of cutting edge technological stuff with CG and virtual sets and so on. And so he had a whole new thing he wanted to accomplish. And what happened was, you know, we wrote the scripts and then George said ‘OK, this is enough for now, and then I’ll get back to you. I want to look into all the production things.’ And then time went by and like a year or something after that is when he sold Lucasfilm to Disney.”

Lucas planned to make Star Wars: Underworld what Disney+’s The Mandalorian would become: the first Star Wars live-action series, using virtual sets to marry digital and live-action filmmaking. A recent episode of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian revealed how Lucas had envisioned using the StageCraft technology used in The Mandalorian nearly a decade ago, which supports Moore’s description of the plans for Star Wars: Underworld. It would have been a massive undertaking, which Moore expands on, emphasizing the scope of the series.

“At the time, George just said ‘write them as big as you want, and we’ll figure it out later,'” Moore said. “So we really had no [budget] constraints. We were all experienced television and feature writers, so we all kind of new what was theoretically possible on a production budget. But we just went, ‘For this pass, OK let’s just take him at his word just to make it crazy and big’ and there was lots of action, lots of sets, and huge set pieces. Just much bigger than what you would normally do in a television show.”

So what would have Star Wars: Underworld been about? Moore was vague on the actual plot details and ideas that he and his fellow writers threw around, but confirmed it was “one big storyline”:

“Yeah, I think it was pretty much one big storyline. It was one long tale with episodic things that would happen. You know, there would be certain events [that] would happen in this episode or this episode, so it was sort of an episodic quality to some of it. But it was telling a larger narrative, in terms of the story of those particular characters in that setting.”

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