Ever since Disney bought the rights to George Lucas’ Star Wars franchise it has been a non-stop barrage of Star Wars content. Now, after the first episode in the new film trilogy — Star Wars: The Force Awakens — and the first of a series of standalone films, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Disney appears to be on the verge of a live-action television series.
ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey recently said that the network was in talks with Lucasfilm to create a live-action series. It now seems guaranteed that a Star Wars series is coming, whether it’s with ABC or with Netflix. “We will continue to have conversations with [Lucasfilm], ” Dungey said, adding, “I think it would be wonderful if we could find a way to extend that brand with our programming.”
So now that all of Star Wars is at Disney’s disposal, the question is what story would make the best TV series. Here are 10 Star Wars shows that make a ton of sense.
1. Star Wars: Underworld
Back in the late 2000’s when Lucas was still in control of Star Wars, a live-action series was being actively developed under the working title of Star Wars: Underworld. The series was recently mentioned as something ABC would be re-evaluating. The ambitious show was set to take place between Episode III and Episode IV, revolving around the criminal underworld of Coruscant. Back in 2012, Rick McCallum told Collider that Star Wars: Underworld was shaping up to be “a much more adult series,” adding that they had described it as “Deadwood in space.”
While chances are slim that the exact version of Star Wars: Underworld that Lucas and McCallum had developed would make it to series, it wouldn’t be surprising if it made its way into something down the line. After all, the series was developed up to the point that budget concerns regarding shooting shut it down and the idea behind the series is interesting and ripe for storytelling if it can get into the right hands.
2. The Jedi purge
A live-action TV series based around the Jedi purge that occurred between the events of Episode III and Episode IV feels like an era primed for content, and one that is sure to make it into a film or TV series sooner rather than later. After all, Marvel’s Darth Vader comic series is currently doing just that and has received sparkling reviews from fans and critics.
However, for the purge to become a live-action series it would make sense that the period would be treated from the perspective of someone other than Darth Vader, or even the Inquisitors we see in the Star Wars Rebels animated series. Even if most fans would love to see a series that centers around Vader, it still feels unlikely that Disney would push a series that takes the perspective of someone who is essentially genocidal. But we can dream.
3. The Clone Wars
The chances of seeing a live-action TV series based around the Clone Wars is probably close to zero because of the existence of the animated series. However, this doesn’t change the fact that this period represents a huge missed opportunity. We’ll never know exactly why George Lucas decided to set three different prequel series in the era of the Clone Wars, yet decide to show us very little despite the mythical status it’s given in the original trilogy. And yeah, the animated series is relatively well-received, but it doesn’t help Star Wars fans who look to the films and live-action show for canon material.
With Anakin Skywalker’s story more or less in the books at this point via the prequel trilogy and the animated series, it feels like such a shame that the powerful story of Anakin’s fall will never be given the treatment it deserves. Imagine a darker, more nuanced version of Anakin’s transformation to Darth Vader with the backdrop of the Clone Wars. It doesn’t need to be in the same vein as Breaking Bad, it’s just that it never feels like we got what we were promised.
4. The Great Sith War and Knights of the Old Republic
This gets into the territory of non-canonical material that could possibly find its way into the canon now that Lucas isn’t at the helm. The Great Sith War was first established in the 2003 Bioware video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, which takes place roughly 40 years following the event. Not only does this era represent completely untouched territory, but it also takes place in a time when both Sith and Jedi roam the galaxy in huge numbers — and who wouldn’t want to see that. Chances are strong that at some point Disney will explore the Star Wars galaxy before the events of the films, but the question is whether they’ll look to Knights of the Old Republic as a starting point.
5. Obi-Wan Kenobi in exile
An Obi-Wan standalone film has been rumored for some time now, but the truth is that it makes much more sense for the Jedi’s adventures between Episode III and Episode IV to be chronicled via an episodic format. Because we know that Obi-Wan doesn’t play any large role in the major events occurring between the Empire and the Rebellion before Episode IV, it makes sense that Obi-Wan’s story would play out on a smaller scale, presumably as he goes on adventures on Tatooine and keeps tabs on Luke Skywalker.
Unfortunately, this might rule out the possibility of Ewan McGregor returning to the role and being given a fair shot at doing the character justice once and for all, but it would certainly be fun to watch. You can easily imagine the series being something along the lines of a Jedi version of the ’70s cult series Kung Fu, which frankly sounds amazing.
6. Young Han Solo
We already know a standalone Han Solo film is on the way so this will be brief, but they definitely missed out on an opportunity when it came to which format he would arrive on. While Harrison Ford’s portrayal of the smuggler turned Rebel hero feels untouchable, if they were going to go there it seems perfect for a TV series.
In fact, a perfect example is a TV series that just so happens to be based on another iconic film series starring Ford: The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. It isn’t hard to imagine a show with the DNA of that series mixed with Firefly, which makes you wonder why they didn’t go that route in the first place.
7. Young Princess Leia
Of all the central characters in the original trilogy, it feels like we know the least about how Princess Leia became the character she is at the start of Star Wars: A New Hope. With both the new film trilogy and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story focusing on female characters, it makes perfect sense to set something around Leia. The fiery character we see in Episode IV has obviously had an interesting path.
In many ways the same things could be said about this potential series as a Han Solo series, but there’s also an interesting political, maybe even Aaron Sorkin-esque aspect we haven’t seen before. The prequel series may have soured you on Star Wars politics, but there’s definitely interesting material there waiting to be mined.
8. The rise of Darth Sidious
Emperor Palpatine’s early days as the apprentice to Darth Plagueis are only hinted at in the prequels, and with the standalone Star Wars: Darth Plagueis novel no longer canonical, it leaves a huge gap in his origin story. That said, it’d be fascinating to see a series show us Palpatine as a young man learning to become one of the most powerful and ambitious Sith Lords of all time. This would, in turn, present us with some much-needed background on an important character in the Star Wars saga, while fleshing out a fascinating personality that would later go on to rule the entire galaxy.
9. The galaxy rebuilds in the days following Return of the Jedi
We know a good deal about what became of our heroes following the events of Return of the Jedi. But it’s the smaller stories that have always made up the foundation of the Star Wars franchise, evidenced by the success of The Clone Wars and Rebels. Imagine a live-action series that follows the rebuilding of the galaxy through the eyes of people who aren’t our core characters. There’s a huge galaxy full of interesting stories to be told, it’s merely a question of bringing them to life in the right light.
10. A look inside the Jedi Order
Throughout the prequels, the Jedi Order functions as a complementary fighting force to the army of the Republic. We only really get to know a handful of Jedi in the process, leaving a host of interesting stories out in the cold. A series that hones in on young Jedi Padawans training in the Temple would go a long way toward providing some much-needed life to the otherwise dull Order we saw in the prequel trilogy. More than that, the rich history and tradition of the Jedi would be on full display for all to see.
Additional reporting from Nick Cannata-Bowman.
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