Star Wars is coming to TV in a big way. The saga is primarily comprised of the core cinematic episodes, with the expanded canon usually comprising of books, comics and games. But there's also room for the galaxy far, far away on the small screen.
Indeed, Lucasfilm's first Star Wars TV show, Droids, premiered in 1985 - following C-3PO and R2-D2 - alongside Star Wars: Ewoks, which centered on Endor's native inhabitants. It wasn't until 2003 that Lucasfilm got back into the TV landscape with Genndy Tartakovsky's Clone Wars, which took place between the events of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Its success is what eventually led to the critically-acclaimed follow-up series, The Clone Wars, which ran on Cartoon Network for six seasons. Then, once the series ended in 2014, Lucsafilm partnered with Disney XD to bring audiences Star Wars Rebels, a story about the formation of the Rebel Alliance prior to A New Hope.
But, Star Wars' presence on TV doesn't stop there. The future is very bright.
Disney's Streaming Service Is Launching In 2019
In 2017, The Walt Disney Company announced plans to develop a streaming service of their own (to be launched in 2019), so that they could deliver exclusive content direct to the audience instead of going through a third-party streaming service such as Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon Prime. By doing so, they will be removing all content from Netflix within the next year or so. However, that doesn't include the removal of Netflix Originals, such as The Defenders TV shows.
Since Disney is also in the process of acquiring 20th Century Fox, which includes Fox's stake in Hulu, it was believed that Disney would transform Hulu into their streaming service. However, that's not the case. Hulu will remain separate, with Disney's untitled streaming service acting as an archive for all their movies as well as a service to deliver new content, such as TV shows and movies. Disney plans on making at least four to five movies and TV shows exclusive to the streaming service, which will include both Marvel and Star Wars properties.
Jon Favreau Is Writing & Producing A Live-Action Star Wars TV Series
One of the projects that will be delivered exclusively on Disney's streaming service is Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars TV show. Disney CEO Bob Iger mentioned in February 2018 that they are developing multiple live-action Star Wars TV shows. Favreau will be writing and executive producing one of those shows. He says that he can't wait to "embark upon this exciting adventure", though it's unclear when that will be.
Favreau is one of Disney's biggest go-to filmmakers - he helped launch the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Iron Man and Iron Man 2 and also directed the enormously successful The Jungle Book adaptation, with The Lion King coming in 2019 - so it makes sense that they've finally gotten him on board the Star Wars franchise. However, it's worth pointing out that Favreau isn't a stranger to Star Wars. He voiced Pre Vizsla in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and is starring in Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Dave Filoni Has Another Star Wars Animated Show In The Works
A rumor surfaced shortly after Star Wars Rebels premiered in 2014 (a follow-up to Cartoon Network's The Clone Wars, which was canceled not long after Disney acquired Lucasfilm) that Lucasfilm planned on making another Star Wars animated series in 2017 or 2018 after Rebels concluded. Star Wars Rebels ended in March 2018 and the show's creator Dave Filoni is now prepping for yet another Star Wars animated series. Lucasfilm started hiring for an episodic director in January 2018, shortly before Rebels' conclusion, and Filoni promised news on a new project in the near future.
Star Wars TV Writers Will Be More Diverse
Lucasfilm's writers are responsible for not only expanding the franchise in a way that seems organic and plausible while also adhering to the established continuity. So, it makes sense that they would hire writers that are well-versed in the Star Wars lore. Unfortunately, as a recent report indicated, 96 percent of all Star Wars writers and directors are white men - that's not exactly a diverse group of creatives.
Although Jon Favreau is yet another Caucasian male, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy says that he will assemble a talented, diverse group of writers and directors to work on his live-action Star Wars TV series. Kennedy said: "This series will allow Jon the chance to work with a diverse group of writers and directors and give Lucasfilm the opportunity to build a robust talent base." While Kennedy's statement was directed at Favreau's TV show, her comments can, presumably, be applied across the board to all Star Wars projects, including Dave Filoni's animated show.
Read More: The Women Who Shaped the Star Wars Franchise
Jon Favreau & Dave Filoni's Star Wars TV Shows Don't Have Premiere Dates Yet
Jon Favreau's Star Wars TV show will air on Disney's streaming service, so while there's no release date, fans shouldn't expect for the show to premiere until 2019 at the earliest. That's when Disney plans to launch, although they never mentioned when in 2019 that will be. Regardless, later 2019 seems like a safer bet given production timings.
As for Dave Filoni's upcoming animated Star Wars TV show, it could premiere as early as October 2018, though that's just an educated guess based on past TV shows from the same crew. Filoni oversaw production of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which officially ended in March 2014. Then, Star Wars Rebels premiered later that year in October 2014. If Lucasfilm and Filoni are already working on their next project, it stands to reason that it could premiere in fall 2018. However, that assumes it's not being held back for the service as well.
Jon Favruea & Dave Filoni's Star Wars TV Shows Don't Have Casts Or Story Details
Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars TV show and Dave Filoni's animated Star Wars TV show are currently without casts. Both shows also don't have any available story details, but that's to be expected considering Lucasfilm is one of the most secretive (and well-guarded) studios in Hollywood.
Dave Filoni's Star Wars Animated Show Rumored To Be Titled Resistance
So far, each Star Wars animated show - that's considered canon - has expanded the gap between two major films. The Clone Wars took place between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, with Rebels taking place at the tail-end of the gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. It's rumored that the next animated series will, therefore, take place in the time between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.
Lucasfilm registered multiple patents in February 2018 for Star Wars Resistance, thus indicating a possible title for the new project. And considering that the Resistance is the name of the rebel group that battles the First Order in the sequel trilogy, it makes sense for Dave Filoni and the rest of the animation team at Lucasfilm to want to create a new animated series in the same vein as Rebels but about a different group.
George Lucas Almost Made A 2000s Star Wars Show Called Underworld
Long before George Lucas sold off Lucasfilm to Disney, the filmmaker had planned on making a live-action TV series set between the events of the prequel and origin trilogy. Longtime Star Wars producer Rick McCallum then revealed in 2012 and 2013 that the project was tentatively titled Star Wars: Underworld and that 50 scripts had already been written. While fans expected Disney to can the project after acquiring the studio, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said that Underworld was still in development, as of 2015.
While it's unclear if Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars TV series will be Star Wars: Underworld or an entirely new series, it's possible that the gangster premise could be the focus for one of the many Star Wars TV shows Lucasfilm has in development.
More Star Wars TV Show News:
- Jon Favreau Star Wars TV Series Slammed On International Women's Day
- Multiple New Star Wars TV Shows Are In Development
- Ahsoka Should Lead The Next Star Wars TV Show
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019