The world of Star Wars television has always been animated thanks The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, and a whole new animated series is in the works. There's even an animated web series, and it seemed for a long time like the galaxy far, far away would never come to the small screen in live-action. That's no longer the case, and Jon Favreau is working on a live-action show that will take viewers back into the Star Wars action. Details are relatively scarce, but we may now know how much the series will cost, and it's no small amount.
The live-action Star Wars series will reportedly cost around $100 million for a grand total of ten episodes. No, that's not a typo. According to a new report, Disney will shell out roughly $100 million to bring the Star Wars saga to the small screen in live-action. On the one hand, a $100 million price tag for ten episodes means more hours of content for less money than a Star Wars film, and $100 million isn't an unprecedented price to pay for a season of TV. The sixth season of Game of Thrones had a budget of around $100 million, and the final season will be even pricier. Besides, this is Star Wars we're talking about. Of course people will watch, right?
On the other hand, the live-action show is slated for release on Disney's upcoming streaming service, which has yet to launch and therefore prove whether or not people are willing to pay for Disney content as they would for Netflix or Hulu. Game of Thrones' ballooning budget over the years happened after that show proved it was the hottest thing on TV and people would tune in no matter how many people are killed off, and the box office for Solo proved that not all Star Wars investments pay off in huge ways. The odds are still great that the currently-untitled Star Wars series will be a major hit and perhaps one of the biggest draws of the new streaming service, but I wouldn't be shocked if there are some folks a little nervous about the budget.
The good news for viewers is that a budget of $100 million means that we should be in for a visual treat. Set seven years after the Battle of Endor at the end of Return of the Jedi, the live-action series will explore a time that has not yet been touched upon by another TV show or a movie, and it should provide a bunch of new characters. Given his credits, Jon Favreau can be trusted to deliver something worth watching, and this show could prove that there are still plenty of new directions for Star Wars TV. Since the movies are pretty few and far between, Star Wars TV could become a haven for fans dying for new content.
In case the $100 million gives you the impression that all of Disney's new streaming series will get such a massive budget, the same New York Times article that reported the Star Wars show's cost also reports that most series will range in cost from $25 million to $35 million. Unsurprisingly, Star Wars gets special treatment. I'm curious to see if there will be connections to the animated shows in the live-action series. Aside some cameo nods to Hera and Chopper (as well as that unexpected character appearance in Solo), the live-action Star Wars projects haven't really touched on the animated events. Perhaps the live-action show will provide the perfect opportunity to follow up on the stories of some Rebels characters.
We shouldn't count on seeing much of Ahsoka and Sabine's mission to find Ezra -- which hopefully won't last them seven years anyway -- but why not an appearance from Jacen Syndulla? Bringing young Jacen to live-action wouldn't necessarily take a lot in the way of special effects or even makeup, and that wouldn't be the case for his mom. Rebels and Clone Wars showrunner Dave Filoni spoke with CinemaBlend about how one show can affect the other; why not include the new live-action show, presumably on top of Resistance?
Only time will tell. The Disney streaming service launches in 2019. It could be one of several Star Wars shows on the streaming service, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in Star Wars TV. For some viewing options coming to TV sooner rather than later, swing by our fall TV guide.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).