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Ever since Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith came out over 10 years ago, there’s been talk about making a live action Star Wars TV series, specifically called Star Wars: Underworld. In the years since, we’ve had two animated shows, but this particular project has never really moved forward, even after Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012. Now that the franchise is back in full swing on the big screen, could this mean there’s renewed hope for the series over at ABC, Disney’s main channel? Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it.
ABC network president Paul Lee recently said that, with the sequel trilogy and spinoff movies coming in the near future, that’s where Lucasfilm’s full focus is right now in terms of live action. As he put it:
…they are focused on their movies, so we don’t have any plans at the moment.
Another rep stated that the only focus on the TV side of things right now is on animation, like Star Wars Rebels. While this erases any hopes of seeing Star Wars on broadcast television, it doesn’t mean a live action Star Wars TV show is completely off the table. Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy admitted last month that the 100 or so Star Wars: Underworld scripts that have already been written are still being kept around. There was even a rumor going around that a Star Wars TV show could air on Netflix; clearly there are enough fans walking this Earth that would like to see one.
However, another insider told TV Line that it’s “smart brand management” that Lucasfilm isn’t making a live action TV series, as that would tread down the same path that fellow Disney property Marvel is walking by having too many projects. They said:
I imagine they’re looking to avoid the Marvel-ization of the franchise.
Set between the Prequel and Original trilogies, Star Wars: Underworld would have explored the grittier side of the galaxy far, far away during the Empire’s full height of power, Tonally, it would have been more similar to the Battlestar Galactica reimagining. While that sounds like an intriguing premise, it doesn’t look like Disney and Lucasfilm are willing to delve into it right now. There are currently Star Wars movies scheduled until 2020, and it’s a good bet we’ll get even more cinematic adventures in the next decade. So even though the Star Wars franchise is experiencing a revitalization right now, Star Wars: Underworld won’t be contributing anytime soon.
If you want to get your fix of Star Wars on TV, your best bet is to watch Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD, or just stream Star Wars: The Clone Wars episodes on Netflix. As for live action, the next movie coming up is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars Episode VIII on December 15, 2017.