Hey, remember when George Lucas said that he was going to make a live-action Star Wars TV series? Remember how excited everyone was? I'm not even a big Star Wars fan anymore, and yet I was beyond psyched about getting to visit this rich world of characters on a weekly basis. I hate the prequels, and I could care less about the cartoons, but for some reason I had it in my head that this TV show, which would reportedly feature bounty hunters and would take place before the original trilogy, could be a return to what was great about the franchise in the first place. Then the Clone Wars cartoon stretched into a second season, and an animated comedy series was announced, and no progress seemed to get made on the live-action show. Well, now it's "on hold." Um, excuse me?
Lucas gives the reasoning as such: "The live action TV show is kind of on hold because we have scripts, but we don't know how to do 'em. Because, they literally are Star Wars, only we're going to have to try to do them [at] a tenth [of] the cost. And, it's a huge challenge... [a] lot bigger than what we thought it was gonna be." So, basically, nobody at Lucasfilm knows how to make anything for less than a billion dollars? They've written scripts that are literally too expensive to put on TV? It sounds like they need to either get their special effects crews to tell them what they can do, and then get the writers to turn those ideas into scripts, or they need to get TV writers who are fans of Star Wars and know what it means to work on a show with a budget. I would go with the latter, because, no offense to George Lucas or his writers, but an experienced TV writer might be more skilled at making things like dialogue and nuance seem interesting, and won't need to constantly fall back on dogfights. (You can still have dogfights, but not every episode.)
And don't say that dogfights are what Star Wars is all about. Just because it's Star Wars doesn't mean you have to have two Jedi fighting on the wingtip of a starship as it hurtles towards a planet, with 57 million ships fighting in the background. The original movie mostly featured people walking around in the desert, with half-built ships for them to interact with, and aliens in rubber masks, and it was awesome. If you treat an entire season of the show like a movie, there should be entire episodes where there's a minimal amount of action. You can argue that audiences have changed, or that they expect more, but Star Wars fans will take whatever they can get, and if they want battles, they can watch Clone Wars, or act them out themselves using their action figures. Meanwhile, the majority of the TV-watching public, who have never watched an episode of Clone Wars ever, can watch a cool sci-fi show that's about characters and ideas, not robots being whooshed around on conveyor belts for humorous effect. Hell, just cut out all of C-3PO's horrible puns, and you'll save thousands right there.
After all, besides six movies to its name and a licensing empire (which should mitigate most concerns about cost, shouldn't it?), what makes Star Wars so special? Battlestar Galactica, Farscape, Andromeda, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Stargate... All of these shows featured space ships and alien races, and somehow their producers found out ways to not only get them on TV under budget, but make audiences care about them, as well. A Star Wars show, regardless of scope, would have a built-in-audience of millions, so why can't Lucasfilm cut back on the massive set pieces and make it work? Do it for the fans, Lucas, as well as for the people who want to become fans again.
What do you think about this crummy news? Let us know below, then see what we think of the idea of an animated Star Wars comedy.
Check out the sci-fi TV crossovers we'd like to see.
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