Is Star Wars a series of movies or is it a series of books? Don’t forget, Star Wars is a series of cartoon shows and Star Wars is also line of perfumes. Most urgently, Star Wars is a source of endless speculation about its own future, a future which now might include a new TV show, coming either very soon or a long, long time from now. Recently, there have been rumblings of ABC developing a live-action television series around Star Wars. The phrase “live-action” here means 50 percent of the characters will be computer-animated, rather than the 100 percent of animated characters on Star Wars: Rebels or its progenitor, Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
But what would such a TV show be about? Before Lucasfilm was sold to Disney, George Lucas himself was developing a Star Wars show called Underworld, which would have apparently featured the the criminal element of Coruscant, kind of like The Sopranos in space. While there are supposedly hundreds of scripts for Underworld just laying around somewhere (some which supposedly make the Emperor a sympathetic character) the likelihood of a new Star Wars show using old Lucasfilm material seems pretty low. With that in mind, here are four plausible directions for a live-action Star Wars TV show.
Obi-Wan Fights Crime in the Desert Like a Boss
Everyone loves Obi-Wan and everyone loves Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan, even though people pretend to hate the prequels. Guess what else people love? Crime shows set in the desert! Imagine a Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul style show called “Old Ben” in which Obi-Wan is hanging out in the desert wastes of Tatooine and serves as that neighborhood’s resident Batman. From fighting criminal corruption, to Sand People, to occasionally giving Luke a hand, Ben Kenobi could get up to all sorts of cool shit. For source material, the John Jackson Miller novel Kenobi is pretty great, as are the glimpses of Ben’s desert exile from the contemporary run of the Marvel comics Star Wars series.
“In Treatment” Style Show Where Yoda Just Talks to People Who Are Thinking About Turning to the Dark Side
Okay, this is a bit of stretch, but what if there was a show in which Yoda sat around and taught people serious life lessons about not being a terrible person? Like Obi-Wan, Yoda is super popular, and a TV show which focused exclusively on his wisdom and advice might sound a little silly at first, but think about: who wouldn’t want to watch 30-minutes every week of Yoda just lecturing people? The cool thing about this is the budget could be super small, and perhaps we’d get some more dope Star Wars puppets out of it, too.
The Cantina, Where Everyone Knows Your Name
While Bea Arthur courageously attempted to legitimize one of the most famous bars in all of popular fiction in the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special and failed, it’s pretty clear the Mos Eisley Cantina could be a source of a lot of great stories. Again, while this might seem silly on paper, there’s a great precedent for a slew of excellent Star Wars stories centered on the Cantina, notably, the 1995 book Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina, edited by Kevin J. Anderson. From the Wolfman’s backstory, to stuff in which we find out what Jawas are up to; there’s proof here that an anthology TV show all about the Cantina could be really interesting. Maybe the Cantina is like The Twilight Zone: just an interesting place where all sorts of sci-fi stories can happen.
Alternatively, if ABC wanted to get more brand-identity connectivity with the new movies, there could also be a show about Maz Kanata’s (Lupita Nyong’o) bar from The Force Awakens. Supposedly, that place has been there for 1,000 years. That seems like a lot of potential for a huge diversity of stories.
Rogue Squadron/Black Squadron
Of all the aspects of the non-canonical “expanded universe” (or “Legends”) the stories of Wedge Antilles and his fighter pilot gang – Rogue Squadron – are among the most popular. I could go on and on about why these books and comics are so great, but it mostly boils down to this: the group of characters is really unique and the stories feel Star Wars-y enough without getting too bogged down in the mythology. Plus, because they’re all fighter-pilots, there’s a great “Top Gun” quality to all the Rogue Squadron novels and comics which, to be honest, literally everyone would love. There’s a diverse cast of male, female, and Mon Calamari pilots here too, making the potential for this show something like the Star Wars answer to the contemporary Battlestar Galactica and the vastly underrated Space: Above and Beyond.
But, just like with the idea for a Star Wars “bar show,” a show about X-Wing fighter pilots could be moved to a different era. Instead of Rogue Squadron, ABC could borrow the format, but just make the show about Poe Dameron’s “Black Squadron” from The Force Awakens. Fans are clamoring to see more of Jess Pava (Jessica Henwick) and who wouldn’t tune in week-after-week for Oscar Isaac?