Star Wars live-action TV series
|Untitled Star Wars live-action TV series|
|Created by||George Lucas|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||100 (planned), 400 (proposed)|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Distributor||Disney-ABC Domestic Television|
The Star Wars live-action television series is a project that has been in varying stages of development at Lucasfilm since 2005, when George Lucas announced plans for a television series set between the prequel trilogy and the original trilogy of Star Wars. Unlike the films, the story does not center on the Skywalker saga, but instead explores criminal and political power struggles in the aftermath of the fall of the Republic.
In 2011, Lucas stated that development has been delayed awaiting advances in technology and reduction in costs and Rick McCallum, the Star Wars and Red Tails producer then involved with the project, indicated that it would be at least another "three or four years".
Following The Walt Disney Company's acquisition of Lucasfilm, ABC Studios' president Paul Lee stated in early 2013 that the project was being reviewed for development. In early 2014, it was reported that casting was underway for unspecified live-action Star Wars projects.
With the exception that the series will not star main characters from the films, statements by George Lucas and Rick McCallum about the plot remained vague and apparently changeable until Lucas' 2011 revelation that 50 scripts had been completed. In an interview shortly after, McCallum revealed the series revolves around "the Empire slowly building up its power base around the galaxy" and a "group of underground bosses" who live on Coruscant and control drugs and prostitution. Entertainment Weekly expanded on this, stating the series tells "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 Empire’s urban-sprawl-covered home planet." The article's statement that "a bounty hunter may be the main character" recalls a reference by McCallum to bounty hunters and circumstances surrounding the cancellation of a book by Karen Traviss, which lend credence to the notion that Boba Fett is one of the characters to be featured.
McCallum cited Deadwood as an important inspiration, and re-imagined Battlestar Galactica creator Ronald D. Moore was revealed to be one of the writers who contributed scripts under a non-disclosure agreement. McCallum said about the show that it is complex, dark and adult, and called it the most "daring material we have ever done." "I think, thematically, in terms of characters and what they go through, it will be… if we can ever get it together and George really wants to pursue it, it’ll be the most awesome part of the whole franchise. It’s Empire on steroids."
The series is to match the look and feel of the films and consist of hour-long episodes. It will feature multi-episode arcs and McCallum has indicated that character development will follow an approach similar to the Game of Thrones TV series. It will be shot following the production model used for the prequels, filming on location all over the world and editing in the US in parallel.
In May 2011, George Lucas stated that 50 episodes had been written, but that the series is on hold awaiting advances in technology and reductions in prices. McCallum has elaborated on this, contrasting the high production costs of the series with current developments in TV production, and highlighting the question of monetization in the era of online distribution against the backdrop of the collapse of traditional TV broadcasting.
After Lucas' retirement from blockbuster moviemaking in 2012, McCallum indicated that should production move forward, Lucas would probably take an active supervisory role similar to how he produced The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.
Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm
On October 30, 2012, The Walt Disney Company announced an agreement to acquire Lucasfilm. The deal includes the rights to the Star Wars franchise for which Lucas will act as creative consultant to a new film trilogy, which is to debut in 2015. Rick McCallum left Lucasfilm shortly after the acquisition. In a conference call following the press release, Disney stated its interest in the potential of a Star Wars television series, but did not go into details.
In August 2013, Lee again visited the topic of a Star Wars live-action series, stating, "We've started conversations," he said. "I'd love to go there. I'm a particular fan of Lucasfilm. It's an amazing world."
In March 2014, it was reported casting was underway for a Star Wars live-action mini series and TV specials. Nothing definite was revealed about the subject of either, but it was speculated the specials may refer to Darth Vader projects which were the subject of a photograph leaked late 2013.
In early 2012, some confusion arose after an IGN interview with McCallum in January left the impression that the project's working title was Star Wars: Underworld. In a subsequent interview with IGN in May, McCallum denied that this was the case.
- "Thank the Maker: George Lucas" Star Wars.com, April 2005.
- AP. "Fans await return of Star Wars" CNN.com, March 2008.
- Johnston, Raymond. "Star Wars TV series may shoot in Prague" Ceska Pozice.cz, June 2011.
- Weintraub, Steve. "Producer Rick McCallum Talks RED TAILS and Live-Action STAR WARS TV Series; Describes Show as “EMPIRE STRIKES BACK on Steroids”" Collider.com, January 2012.
- "Star Wars 3D with George Lucas & Tom Fitzgerald" Attack of the Show.com, May 2011.
- Hibbard, James (January 10, 2013). "ABC to look at 'Star Wars' live-action TV series". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
- "ABC in talks to develop TV shows based on 'Star Wars' characters". Reuters. 4 August 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
- Maison, Jordan. "Exclusive: Disney Already Casting for Star Wars Live-Action TV Projects" Cinelinx.com, March, 2014.
- Berton, Justin. "A great day for a parade -- even if those Stormtrooper outfits make you boil inside" SFGate.com, January 2007.
- Keck, William. "He has a need for speed" USA Today.com, April 2007.
-  Total Film Magazine, May 2008, p. 138.
- Gilchrist, Todd. "Star Wars Goes Live on the Small Screen" IGN.com, October 2005.
- Elliott, Sean. "Exclusive Interview: STAR WARS PRODUCER RICK MCCALLUM TALKS 3D & TV SERIES" iFMagazine.com, May 2006.
- Anders, Charlie Jane. "Is It Too Late To Save The Imperial Commandos?" Io9.com, February 2010.
- Collura, Scott. "Is This the Star Wars Live-Action Show's Title?" IGN.com, January 2012.
- "Rick McCallum - Rick McCallum: Star Wars TV Show Still Coming" IGN.com, May 2012.
- Peaty, James. "Rick McCallum interview: Dennis Potter, Star Wars TV series, George Lucas & Red Tails" Den of Geek.com, June 2012.
- Curtis, Bryan. "George Lucas Is Ready to Roll the Credits" New York Times.com, January 2012.
- Mucha, Zenia (October 30, 2012). "Disney to Acquire Lucasfilm Ltd.". The Walt Disney Company. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
- "An Independent Future for Rick McCallum" Star Wars.com, November 2012.
- Goldman, Eric. "Star Wars TV: Disney XD Will Air Future Programming - IGN" IGN.com, October 2012.
- Maison, Jordan. "Darth Vader TV Specials Inbound, Plus Episode VII Still on Track for Summer 2015" Cinelinx.com, October, 2013.
|Wikinews has related news: 'Star Wars' headed to TV as weekly series|
- Star Wars live-action TV series at the Internet Movie Database
- Star Wars live-action TV series on Wookieepedia: a Star Wars wiki