Now is the best time to be a Star Wars fan. We have a new film to look forward to every year, but that’s not the only reason. In addition to the films, we also have books, comics, and television shows, most of which are of equal canonical status with the films. Of note is Star Wars Rebels, the current ongoing animated show on DisneyXD. It succeeded The Clone Wars, another animated show that ended in 2014.
Recently, we’ve heard multiple rumors that Lucasfilm may release a few live-action shows in addition to Star Wars Rebels. Plus that animated show may eventually end, and it’s safe to say another may take it’s place. A few years from now, we may have several Star Wars TV shows (animated or live-action) to enjoy during the space between each yearly film.
To prepare for this probable deluge of content, we’ve selected our top 11 ideas for a Star Wars TV show. Some are animated, some are live-action, some could be either one. This list is arranged in approximate chronological order (some could take place in multiple eras), so don’t get upset if your favorite idea isn’t #1. We would like to see all of these ideas develop into something tangible.
11. Dawn of the Jedi
This show could embrace the fantasy of Star Wars and go back to the dawn of the Jedi. Obi-Wan Kenobi once said that the Jedi Knights were the guardians of the Republic for “over a thousand generations.” At a rough estimation of 25 years per generation, that means the Jedi have been around for 25,000 years. Why not tell that story?
This would allow creators a chance to tell a Star Wars story that is almost completely fantasy, focusing purely on the early use of the Force, and the formation of the Jedi order. Remember that Irish location where we saw Luke at the end of The Force Awakens? That was reportedly the site of the first Jedi Temple. Maybe we could revisit that planet and learn the origin of those early Jedi.
While this story could be told through animation or live-action, we think it would be best if told through animation, especially if that animation had a similar style to The Legend of Korra, which felt like a fantasy epic with small hints of sci-fi.
10. Knights of the Old Republic
Few gamers and/or Star Wars fans are unfamiliar with the Knights of the Old Republic video games, developed by Bioware. A sequel, The Old Republic, is an MMORPG that is still ongoing. These games tell a story set nearly 4,000 years before the Star Wars films. During this time Sith and Jedi flourish, and their war is massive in scale. Technology isn’t much worse than in the films, but the entire era has a heightened fantasy/medieval feel to them. Star Wars is known to be a fantasy story told through science fiction, and these stories focused more on the fantasy than the science fiction.
These video games, and all of the books/comics that surrounded them, are not canon, but they remain some of the most popular Expanded Universe stories for many Star Wars fans. A TV series set during this timeline would likely find a massive audience. Plus, being so removed from the timeline of the films, creators would have additional freedom to develop the story in any direction they choose. The Jedi vs. Sith conflict could be perfect for a medieval-style show set in the Star Wars universe. This is one of those shows that could work either as animation or live-action, depending on the scale that Lucasfilm would want to go with.
9. Adventures of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan
In the canon, there are currently zero stories that take place before Episode I: The Phantom Menace, but in Legends, there was once a very successful series of junior novels called Jedi Apprentice which focused on the early years of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s training, under the tutelage of Qui-Gon Jinn. Those stories, if reimagined to fit with what we now know in the canon universe, could make another wonderful series.
The series would, by necessity, need to be animated, but this would work best since Lucasfilm would likely target a younger audience for these type of stories. The show could follow a similar format to the Jedi Apprentice books, where Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon move from one assignment to another, but it could also bring in characters like Count Dooku (who was Qui-Gon’s master before Dooku became a Sith). The show could also hint at the plans that Senator Palpatine (aka Darth Sidious) has to take over the galaxy. The story could even show us Darth Maul’s training by Darth Sidious, to mirror the training of Obi-Wan by Qui-Gon.
8. Vader’s Jedi Purge
Following the events of Revenge of the Sith we know that Darth Vader spent a lot of time hunting down the Jedi that remained. Obi-Wan Kenobi had sent out a message warning all Jedi to stay away, and we can assume that many listened and fled. We also know that Vader would eventually use Inquisitors to help hunt down these Jedi and locate any new potential Force-sensitive children.
Due to the dark and serialized potential of these stories, this idea might work best as a live-action miniseries of 4-10 episodes. Each episode could be 1-2 hours long, and would focus on a new Jedi that Vader needs to hunt down. Of course, you could expand this to a full, live-action show, with only a few Jedi each season, but that might be stretching the potential. In any event, watching Darth Vader hunt down Jedi is exactly what fans have been waiting to see for years, and we only got a glimpse of it in Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Rebels. Some additional story would be fun.
7. Stormtrooper Academy
The Clone Wars did an amazing job of bringing out the individuality in each of the Clones, despite the fact that they all looked like each other and were bred for the same thing. However, once the Empire took over, Clones took a back seat to new recruits who were trained as Stormtroopers. From what we know (mostly from Star Wars Rebels), the Empire did all it could to stamp out the individuality for these recruits, turning them into mindless soldiers for the Empire. This directly contrasts the Clones, who may have started out the same, but grew into their individuality. This emotional struggle would make the perfect basis for a TV show showcasing the Imperial academy and the training that Stormtroopers have to go through.
The show would probably be live-action and would take place shortly after Revenge of the Sith, when the Empire is just starting to take shape. It would follow a small group of young cadets who enlist to become Stormtroopers, only to find that they must struggle to maintain their sense of individuality. You could also bring in Temura Morrison to play the surviving Clones, who we know from Star Wars Rebels stuck around to train the new generation of trooper.
The armored troopers in Star Wars, no matter what the era, have always been a fan favorite in the Star Wars universe. For example, organizations like the 501st Legion are devoted to film-accurate cosplay of these troopers and other Star Wars villains. A show centering around these troopers would not only present an engaging story, but would also serve as a love-letter to the 501st Legion and other Star Wars fans.
6. The Unknown Regions
Much of The Force Awakens was devoted to a search for Luke Skywalker, who was actually located on a planet in the Unknown Regions of the Star Wars galaxy. This is a region of space that remains mostly unexplored. In the non-canon Legends stories, the Unknown Regions were partially inhabited by a race known as the Chiss. The most famous member of that race was Grand Admiral Thrawn, who served the Empire. During the Empire’s reign, Thrawn spent much of his time exploring the Unknown Regions and preparing against extra-galactic threats. Even though this story is Legends, it would adapt nicely to the Star Wars canon since that area of space has little to do with the events of the films.
You could also tell a Lost-in-Space type of story, following a small group of people as they explore or lose themselves in the Unknown Regions. It would allow creators the freedom to do some crazy things and visit some interesting worlds without too many repercussions reaching the rest of the galaxy and affecting the flow of the canon.
Who said all of the TV shows we want to see are new ideas? Underworld is the code name for a live-action show that used to be in development at Lucasfilm. Under George Lucas, a team of writers produced many scripts (possibly over 100), but the show was abandoned due to budget concerns. But recently, we learned that there might yet be hope for this show. Apparently, Disney has plans for these unproduced scripts, though we don’t yet know what that is.
The show would focus on the criminal underbelly of the Star Wars universe during the 19-year gap between the prequel trilogy and the original trilogy. So we’d likely see Godfather-esque stories with characters like Jabba the Hutt or others like him. It was also confirmed that many of the original scripts focused on bounty hunters, which would be a welcome addition to any Star Wars TV series.
For fans of the western, criminal-underworld, bounty-hunter-infested aspects of Star Wars you would probably love Underworld. And as far as Disney’s concerned, why make up a new show with the same tone when you can just use the original scripts that were produced before Disney acquired Lucasfilm?
4. Star Wars Detours
Star Wars Detours is another TV-show that Lucasfilm was already producing, but never saw the light of day. This one is different from our other ideas because this is the only show that is a Star Wars parody. The show was created by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich, the minds behind Robot Chicken. According to Green, they produced 39 finished episodes, with many more unfinished episodes in partial stages of development. Sadly, when Disney acquired Lucasfilm they decided to postpone the release of Detours until a more appropriate launch window, after Lucasfilm’s new content strategy was firmly in place.
Well, we now have a new sequel with The Force Awakens and people are starting to take Star Wars seriously again. So perhaps sometime in the near future would be the best time to release this show. Dumping it all on Netflix would be one such option.
3. Rogue Squadron
Back in the ’90s, a highly successful series of books was released known as the X-Wing series. There was also a series of comics that tied into the novels, not to mention the Rogue Squadron series of video games from that same decade. Bottom line: people love X-wings. What better way to launch a TV series than with a band of lovable pilots and their adventures in space.
The show would not follow the events of the novels, comics, or video games, since all of those stories were labeled as non-canon or “Legends.” However the show could draw inspiration from these stories. Certainly the WWII sense of camaraderie and the overall tone could match up with the Legends books.
This show would probably work best in live-action, and set almost immediately after the events of Return of the Jedi when the New Republic is trying their best to eliminate any final resistance from the Empire, a conflict which likely lasted several years. It could introduce many new characters but could also make use of other characters from Legends or the current canon. For example, Shara Bey (first introduced in the comic Shattered Empire) would be one such character that would fit right into a series like this. She was a pilot and the mother of Poe Dameron who is played by Oscar Isaac in The Force Awakens.
2. Luke’s Academy/The Continuing Adventures of Luke, Leia, and Han
One of the greatest revelations in Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the fact that Luke did follow Yoda’s dying advice, “pass on what you have learned,” when he started to train others in the ways of the Force. Sadly, Kylo Ren eventually ended this dream by slaughtering all of the other students, which is what drove Luke into exile. However, what happened before this? Who were Luke’s students? How did they all meet? What crazy adventures did they have, and are any of them still alive? These are some of the questions that a post-Return of the Jedi series could answer.
If this show were to tell us the stories of Luke, Han, or Leia following the events of Return of the Jedi, it would by necessity need to be animated, since recasting those roles for live-action is probably out of the question. However, some original actors could return to do the voice of their animated self. Mark Hamill, for example, is a celebrated voice actor and would probably be willing to reprise the role of Luke Skywalker in animated form. An animated show set during this time period would be one of the best ways to tell the story of these three heroes in that 30-year gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.
But the show could also have great potential for new characters, including anyone who may have attended Luke’s Jedi Academy. It would also give creators a chance to explain Kylo Ren’s backstory, including his early years with Han and Leia, or why he was eventually seduced to the dark side by Supreme Leader Snoke.
1. Star Wars Legends
We’ve already mentioned several Legends stories that could serve as inspiration for, or be adapted to, new canonical stories. But what about the Legends stories themselves? Many of these stories (though not all) are quite good, and deserve an additional spotlight through a medium like television. This potential TV series could take existing Legends stories and adapt them directly to the small screen. They would still exist outside of the canon, but it would serve as a nice nod to fans of these old stories.
The only problem with this show would be the potential confusion generated by the fact that it is not canon. However, fans of superhero stories know that there can be multiple versions of the same story or character. People might catch on. Besides, a quick note of the non-canon status of these stories in the title sequence could easily clear up any confusion.
If Lucasfilm didn’t use this idea as a TV show, another option would be to release direct-to-home-video animated films of the most popular Legends stories. DC Comics and Marvel have been doing this successfully for many years, adapting some of their more interesting comic-book stories like The Dark Knight Returns or Planet Hulk. And any Legends fan would probably love to see a similar adaptation of the Thrawn trilogy, the Darth Bane trilogy, or the Yuuzhan Vong war. Despite not being canon, there are still many good stories to use in Legends.
We know that Disney has big plans for the future of Star Wars. Right now we get to see one film per year, plus some television content with Star Wars Rebels, but there’s still much more that we could see in the future.
Not all of these ideas will make it to the small screen, and Lucasfilm likely has a plethora of their own ideas, many of which may conflict with what you see here, but there’s still so much potential for Star Wars television. We’ve only begun to scratch the surface with this list. And if just one of these ideas eventually makes it to the small screen, we’ll be excited to tune in.