George Lucas, proprietor of what is arguably the most famous movie universe of all time, has spoken of his plans to bring Star Wars to television for the better part of four years now - while fans have largely been left waiting. As Lucas addressed the recent 3D conversion of his six-part saga with G4, he also dropped a tidbit regarding the progress of the show and why it has been shelved – at least temporarily.
For anyone even remotely aware of the goings on in Hollywood, we know that talk is cheap and though a live-action Star Wars television show has been promised since 2007, we have yet to see anything materialize. Four years in, and many fans are still excited at the prospect of catching Star Wars on a weekly basis, though Lucas has failed to deliver, a shred of hope remains that the proposed series will eventually happen.
Rest easy Star Wars fans; the flanneled one has delivered an intriguing update on the proposed show. According to Lucas, he has over 50 hours of the planned series already scripted – that works out to around two seasons (provided it’s 23 episodes per season).
So, if 50 hours worth of script is waiting in the wings, what’s the hold up? Apparently, the delay in the series has been attributed to technology. Yes, the man behind Industrial Light and Magic says that until technology can deliver the kind of FX-laden spectacle he's envisioned for the franchise (while still being cost-effective enough to appear on television) the series will have to wait.
Lucas went on to say he was waiting for a ‘different technology’ that will make the show ‘economically feasible.’ That doesn’t mean that Lucas is waiting for James Cameron to step in and show him how it’s done, however. No, apparently Lucas and his FX team are working on a way to not only make Star Wars a reality on television, but, in the long run, also make effects driven films more cost effective.
The director stated it is a ‘very difficult process’ and that when they do solve the problem keeping Star Wars from happening, the long-term affect will be to lessen the cost of feature films as well. Right now, according to Lucas, many features that require substantial effects cost around $150-$200 million. The solution that he and his ILM team are working on could reduce that amount to the much more manageable $50-$60 million range.
With any luck, Lucas and ILM are but a few years from achieving this lofty goal.
For those that don’t know, the proposed show was (is) set to deliver a story set somewhere between Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. The series would feature a multitude of characters that won’t be Luke, Leia, Han or Chewie, so take that for what it’s worth. Certainly it’s to be expected that the character list would have to expand in order to accommodate any growth of the nearly 35-year-old franchise, so perhaps we can look upon any new additions with optimism, instead of the trepidation that is common after the last three prequels.
In any regard, fans looking for a Star Wars television show will have to wait a while longer. However, they can still catch the increasingly excellent Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Cartoon Network.