For anyone watching Star Wars Rebels or who followed along with its predecessor Star Wars: The Clone Wars, there are numerous fan-favorite animated characters ripe for an adaptation into live-action. Despite this, only one minor character has made this transition so far: Forest Whitaker's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story character Saw Gerrera who was first introduced in a season 5 episode of The Clone Wars.
If the many other characters, namely the protagonists, aren't going to get their time to shine in the big Lucasfilm blockbusters, perhaps instead they can make their way into live-action on the small screen. Star Wars will come to TV in live-action at some point. It's just a matter of when. ABC is already in super secret talks for this with Lucasfilm...
We've explained in detail the reasons why Star Wars needs to expand to live-action TV just like Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe has been successfully able to, and rumors from last summer hinted that Netflix was planning three such series. Nothing has come from that since but with their massive success with The Defenders programming (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and next month, Luke Cage) it's a no brainer.
But just like Marvel TV got its start on ABC first with Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. so to may Lucasfilm begin expanding its all-connected Star Wars universe (the books, games, TV shows, and movies are all part of the same continuity going forward) first on ABC. Speaking during the TCA (Television Critics Association) upfronts, ABC network president Channing Dungey confirmed that there are talks happening with the other Disne divisions over the possibility but nothing is confirmed as of yet.
“As a fan I would absolutely love to say yes. We have had conversations with [Lucasfilm] and we will continue to have conversations with them. I think it would be wonderful if we could find a way to extend that brand onto our programming.”
“It’s all a little bit hush-hush. That company exists under a big shroud of secrecy. If you feel Marvel is secretive, Lucas takes it to a whole other level. [Talks] are ongoing. We don’t really have an official timeline yet.”
It's a smart move by Disney to continue expanding the Star Wars brand (which currently has new Star Wars parks under construction at Disneyland and Walt Disney World) like they did with Marvel. ABC can keep Star Wars in the mindset of another audience of viewers, and Netflix can target another demographic and tone as well.
A large live-action TV story was planned by George Lucas many years ago but could not be greenlit until the costs came down as technology advanced. Given what we're seeing from science fiction, fantasy, and superhero genre shows on TV at the moment, it looks like we're there.
For Star Wars collectors, check out Hasbro's Star Wars Black Series collectibles based on Rebels for an idea of what the stylized animated characters could look more like in live-action. That's not to say these characters will be the subject of a live-action show, but the crossover appeal is obvious.
Share your thoughts and hopes for live-ation Star Wars on TV in the comments!
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in U.S. theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, and the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.