Ever since Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, the Mouse House has been actively working to create a multimedia empire with George Lucas' iconic sci-fi property. That obviously means a new era of Star Wars films, beginning this December with The Force Awakens (launching a trilogy and spinoff films), but the multiplex isn't the only place the company will look to recoup their $4 billion investment (and we don't just mean the new novels meant to fill in the 30-year gap between Episodes VI and VII).
On the TV side, Disney has been relatively quiet, with Star Wars Rebels the brand's lone extension on the small screen. However, a new rumor has emerged that the galaxy far, far away could be looking to increase its television presence exponentially, with a brand new live-action show that would tie into the larger universe soon to be established.
The site Cinelinx (so far, untested in their scoops) is reporting that development of an as-yet-untitled live-action Star Wars series is ramping up, set to be shot in the same Pinewood locations and sets built for the new movies. Allegedly, the new show has been on the back burner while schedules for upcoming Star Wars movies are finalized. The show would film in between the movie shoots, giving the hypothetical series a higher production value and similar look.
Right now, it's unknown when the TV series would move forward. Gareth Edwards' Star Wars: Rogue One and Rian Johnson's Episode VIII will be released within five months of each other, so it's expected that principal photography on the two projects will follow each other very quickly. If the priority remains the film universe, it doesn't look like there will be much free time at Pinewood to crank out a season's worth of space opera television.
Also, oddly enough, there's no real word on what this series would entail in terms of the subject matter. Cinelinx claims that the studio is considering using a character from one of the upcoming books to serve as the show's main character, but don't elaborate on who that might be. Any clues regarding where the show would sit in the franchise's timeline are under lock and key as well, giving Star Wars fans yet another thing to speculate upon until official word arrives.
The prospect of a TV show in the Star Wars universe is an easy sell, with endless possibilities. Disney would arguably be wise to pursue the venture at some point (since they literally have an entire universe of worlds and characters at their disposal), if for no other reason than the additional merchandise. Whether this would be best accomplished by going the network route or a different outlet (Netflix) is up for debate, but the pending success of Marvel's upcoming Netflix series may provide the studio with a blueprint to build on.
At the moment this is merely an unsubstantiated rumor, so fans frothing at the mouth for a Star Wars live-action TV show should keep those grains of salt handy. We would all be wise to remember that shortly after the release of 2005's Revenge of the Sith, George Lucas had plotted out 100 episodes for a new series, described as "The Empire Strikes Back on steroids" in regards to tone.
As we now know, that never came to fruition, so even now the concept is far from a given. It makes sense for Disney to try to get this off the ground, but we'll have to wait and see what becomes of this latest Star Wars rumor. We'll keep you updated on the progress of a Star Wars live-action TV show as more information becomes available.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters December 18, 2015.
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