'Star Wars' live-action TV series won't come out for 'three or four years,' is like 'The Godfather,' says producer

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Image Credit: © & TM Lucasfilm, Ltd.

First announced in 2005, the still-untitled Star Wars live-action TV series has remained eternally on the distant horizon, twinkling in the darkness of pre-production like a green light on the far end of a misty lake. Roughly once a year, some delicious tidbit of information will emerge about the project -- the series will run for 100 episodes, it will be "Deadwood meets The Sopranos in space," there are 50 episodes of the series already in the can, etc. -- but producer Rick McCallum just gave an interview to Czech news organization Czech Position that offers a veritable smorgasbord of information about the show. McCallum explains that LucasFilm currently has "50 hours of third-draft scripts," which has to be some sort of record for a TV series that hasn't even gone into production yet. Plotwise, he describes it thusly: "Basically, it is like The Godfather; it’s the Empire slowly building up its power base around the galaxy ... and it’s [about] a group of underground bosses who live [on Coruscant]

and control drugs, prostitution.”

Drugs and prostitution in Star Wars? I’m getting awesome flashbacks to Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina, and if you know what that is, then please marry me.

But there’s a twist. McCallum says that, due to the massive amount of digital animation involved in making the series, it won’t go into production for a long, long time: “We are going to wait three or four years.” Now, Star Wars fans are used to waiting a long, long time — there were nearly two decades between Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace. But by the time The Phantom Menace emerged in 1999, the original Star Wars trilogy had risen to truly mythic stature, with a whole new generation of fans reading the extended universe Star Wars books and playing games like Dark Forces and TIE Fighter. Now, in the wake of the disappointing prequel series, Star Wars is in a slightly more complicated place — and, with the entire six-part film series slated for a 3-D re-release, we’re staring down the barrel of more fandom debate about the franchise’s current status.

That’s why the live-action series initially seemed so alluring: with the promise to focus on the darker nooks of the Star Wars universe, it seemed like a return to adult storytelling for the franchise. Now it looks like the live-action series is further away than ever. Star Wars fans, do you like what you’ve heard about the proposed series? What’s on your wish-list? Can’t they just do a series about the criminal career of Jabba the Hutt, Gaar Suppoon-style?

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

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Comments (19 total) Add your comment
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  • Matt

    I’ve found what I’ve seen of the animated series pretty underwhelming, so I’m not terribly optimistic about a live-action series. Hopefully they’ll surprise me.

    • EC

      I love the animated series. Better than a lot of prequels.

  • Buddy

    I am a Star Wars fan. I am a Godfather fan. Star Wars is no Godfather. After what they did to the prequels, the two franchises should never be mentioned in the same sentence unless you are saying, “The Godfather is an epic tale, the Star Wars franchise is solid storytelling, and the Star Wars Prequels are the equivalent of used toilet paper.”

  • Scout

    It takes a few more light years than they planned for the TV broadcast to get here from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

  • Franky

    It doesn’t bode well when you’ve got the words “Godfather” and “three” in the same quote.

    • Cris

      Indeed. The way Lucas has been going lately (despite some fairly decent Clone Wars episodes), I’m far more concerned that the new series will be like Godfather III

  • will g alvira

    Ha! The bottom line is it will be aired or released when Lord Lucas damn well feels like it. Period……

    • will g alvira

      What’s funny is that I feel that every star wars fan has already gotten all there is to really know and understand about the Jedi, the Sith , and good versus evil . Specialy for fans over 30 years old. All that really star wars Has to offer is cool ships, costumes, visuals , ect. ect. So to me he can take all the time in the world to release anything new related to star wars.

      • will g alvira

        I meant to imply cool new,never before seen ships and visuals.

  • Diane

    I’m claiming the marriage proposal-my favorite story of the group is Be Still My Heart: The Bartender’s Tale by David Bischoff with Greedo’s tale a close second

    • Lyndsey

      Ha ha!! Are we the only two women who know this book?! I always find the Cantina scene far more interesting if you know the backstory for the characters! I’d love to see a series go in this direction. Always felt the story was at its peak when there was an Empire to fight! And if it includes an appearance by Grand Admiral Thrawn I’d be ecstatic!

      • Daya

        Three women. I’ve never read that particular book, but I’ve heard of it. (I was going to read the entire series a few years ago, but there are so many that it’s simply too daunting. And expensive.)

        My favorite is still “The Courtship of Princess Leia”…even though I have a quote from “MedStar II” on my Facebook profile. (The only way I’m claiming that marriage proposal is if you’re secretly James Remar in disguise. LMAO)

      • jj

        I loved the backstory for the guy who looked like a demon (can’t remember his name, don’t own the book). So surprising! I’m already married, but thanks for the offer.
        I’m willing to give this the benefit of the doubt, it could be Lucas’ attempt to make up for the treacly “appropriate for little kids only” vibe of the last 3 films with a much more grown-up and grittier version.

    • Zoe

      Here’s another woman with the book! It’s actually on one of my bookshelves, along with “Tales from Jabba’s Palace” and “Tales of the Bounty Hunters.” I had two female friends who read them too. There are more of us out here than you realize, Darren!

  • Dom

    The series should be based on The Force Unleashed. Period.

  • Koozebane

    Like “Deadwood” and “The Sopranos”? Does this mean the characters will be dropping F-bombs?

    • Truth

      Star Wars versions – dropping “kriffing” and “sithspit” everywhere… :p

  • locolukah

    Rick “Yes Mr. Lucas “McCallum…yeah, I am going to believe anything he says.

  • Milk

    Leave the d*mn thing ALONE for bleep sake. WHY does ANYONE need MORE?

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