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The real question about Star Wars these days is not what kind of Star Wars-themed product we'll get, but what we won't get. From the minute Disney bought Lucasfilm last fall, it was clear that Star Wars was about to come back in a big way, with development on an Episode VII film starting immediately and a new animated series announced not long after. But did you think Disney was really going to stop there in their efforts to make Star Wars take over every form of entertainment imaginable?
There's nothing official yet, but during the panel discussion with the Television Critics Association, Disney's ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee admitted that there are definitely conversations happening about more Star Wars on television. Here's what he said, via The New York Times:
"We've started conversations with [Lucasfilm]. I have an inkling in my mind, but they have a lot on their plate."
To see how a live-action Star Wars show might shake out on ABC, you need only look at Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Avengers spin-off that's one of the network's biggest fall premieres. A way to keep the world of Marvel superheroes alive on the small screen without having to shell out big bucks for Robert Downey Jr. or Chris Evans, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a natural extension of the ever-growing Marvel Universe-- but it's also unclear whether audiences are interested in superhero stories that have no actual superheroes in them. A Star Wars TV spinoff would be different, of course, but Lucasfilm will obviously be eyeing Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to see what might work for them when their time comes.
And that time may be a long way off. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is premiering a full five years after the debut of Iron Man, which kicked off the expansive Marvel Universe that's still expanding today. Star Wars: Episode VII isn't due in theaters until 2015, and if the Iron Man model holds, that would put a live-action TV series five years after that. Of course, it's unlikely to be that long a wait-- the Star Wars universe is already very well established on both large screens and small, and an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D-type spinoff could probably be prepped to premiere the fall after Episode VII, with audience members on board to watch before even knowing what the show is about. That would give Disney and ABC enough time to learn their lessons from S.H.I.E.L.D., tailor them to the Star Wars universe, and get J.J. Abrams or Michael Arndt to cook up some series ideas. I'm not saying I've seen the future… but if Agents of Dagoba is on ABC's 2015 fall schedule, you all owe me 5 bucks.