Star Wars Rebels executive producer Dave Filoni may be hinting at directing a live-action Star Wars TV series next. Filoni has spent the vast majority of his career working at Lucasfilm, developing the company's two most successful animated TV shows: Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Cartoon Network and Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD. The latter series recently began its fourth and final season on the air, thus leaving audiences wondering about Star Wars' future on the small screen.
Lucasfilm has now bridged the gaps between the events of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith with The Clone Wars and Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope (or, more specifically, Rogue One) with Rebels. The question now is, where do they go next? The obvious choice would be to develop another animated TV series that takes place between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, but the company's publishing division, as well as video games such as Star Wars Battlefront II, are already exploring that time period. If another cartoon series isn't in the cards, though, perhaps a live-action TV series is.
In an extensive interview with io9, Filoni briefly discussed his post-Star Wars Rebels plans. Although he won't reveal what he's actually going to do, he knows it will be Star Wars related. What's more, his comments about learning live-action directing under Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson could indicate his intention to make a live-action Star Wars TV series next.
"I have an incredibly talented group of people working here [at Lucasfilm]. They’ve worked for me all 12 years that I’ve been here. So I feel indebted to them and want to keep creating work for them so they can use their abilities and tell great stories. I also want to keep pushing myself into areas that are challenging and new. I’ve had a lot of experience now interacting with live-action directors like Rian Johnson who’s been really wonderful to me and showing me what their production is like.
"I want to celebrate stories, and it doesn’t matter what medium it's in. I don’t care — big screen, small screen — I just need space to tell a story. And do it as best I can. That’s my goal in the end. So we’ll have to see what form that takes in the future. ...But let’s just put it this way. I learned from the best."
A live-action Star Wars TV series has been in various stages of development since the mid-2000s. George Lucas originally planned on making the series, then-titled Star Wars: Underworld, take place between the events of the prequel and original trilogies, with the focus being on the political and power struggles prior to the events of A New Hope. However, the series fell by the wayside and Star Wars Rebels ended up taking its place as the show set between Lucas' two Star Wars trilogies.
In the years since producer Rick McCallum revealed details on Star Wars: Underworld, several rumors have suggested that Netflix could be looking into developing up to three live-action Star Wars shows, but nothing has come of those reports. However, that doesn't mean one can't happen.
Star Wars Rebels season 4 continues on Monday with ‘The Occupation’ and ‘Flight of the Defender’ at 9pm on Disney XD.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019