I spent the better part of February battling the flu. While I was incapacitated I binged on chicken soup with R2-D2 shaped noodles and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. via Netflix.
Watching Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. got me thinking, is Star Wars ready for the little screen? The idea of a live-action Star Wars television show is nothing new. Back in 2005, George Lucas was making plans for a Star Wars television series called Star Wars: Underworld. It was to take place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. It never came to fruition and that project is all but dead. Recently there were rumors that Netflix was in negotiations with Disney to create a live-action Star Wars series, but it remains just that, a rumor.
I like what Marvel has done with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and the way it ties into their ongoing story with The Avengers and other heroes. Star Wars is not Marvel, and it’s not clear that giving Star Wars the Marvel treatment is necessarily a good idea; although I fail to see a downside. I personally believe that there will eventually be a live action Star Wars television show, but I’m skeptical of it happening before Episode IX.
If there were a live-action television series, I think there could be four possibilities regarding what the series could be about. The boldest and the one I’m most interested in is a show that takes place between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. That’s a fairly broad stretch of time so it couldn’t encompass all thirty plus years. I’d have it focus on Ben Solo’s teenage years, the formation of the First Order, the Knights of Ren, and Luke’s attempt to restore the Jedi Order. That’s some really good stuff that many fans are anxious to know more about.
The best part about this series is that it ties into the current films, and it would revolve around classic characters like Luke, Han, Leia, and Chewie. All would have to be recast, but that’s going to happen with the Han Solo standalone film, so the idea of these characters played by other actors is not that foreign a concept.
The downside to this series is that there is no way it would happen before Episode IX. It would give away too much of the mystery that will be revealed in the final two chapters of the new trilogy. Starting the series after Episode IX then puts it in prequel territory where much of the story is already known. The series will spend it’s time filling in details rather than offering anything new.
A stronger possibility is a series that segues from Episode IX to Episode X. Let’s face it, there is going to be an Episode X. This would be an opportunity to set the stage for Episode X, and introduce some characters who could appear in the new trilogy. I would envision this series to be modeled after Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. where it leads into the new trilogy and then ties into each of the episodes. It would be a great way to fill in some gaps, expand on the main story and give something for fans to enjoy while waiting for the next episode to be released.
One of the great things about Star Wars is that it is a giant paracosm. It’s more about the universe than it is specific characters. Marvel has to have an Iron Man and Captain America, whereas Star Wars doesn’t necessarily have to have a Luke Skywalker or Han Solo to fill its universe. A live-action Star Wars series could easily take place thousands of years in the future, or thousands of years in the past, possibly set in days of The Old Republic or earlier. It could be very a very original series taking place at a point in time that has yet to be explored. Going this route gives the makers a lot of creative freedom to tell a very original story that doesn’t get in the away of the stories and characters that exist today. It’s a very safe road to travel.
Even though there are no concrete plans for a live action television series, I believe the timing is right and fans all over the world are ready to embrace Star Wars on the little screen. If Episodes VIII and IX are as good as The Force Awakens, Star Wars will remain popular for many years to come and it’s only natural that it finds it way to the medium of television.
The Cantina Cast
The wretched hive your Jedi Master warned you about!