Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What Ever Happened To The Star Wars Live Action Series?

One of my greatest desires as a Star Wars Fanboy is to see the long rumored Star Wars Live Action TV Series move into production and get a release date.  Failing this, I would like some news, any news regarding the future of the of the proposed series.

We really haven't gotten an up-date since last September, when IGN get news right from the Maker's mouth:

In September, George Lucas said among other things that:
1) Scripts done for 1 TV movie and 50 hours.
2) Current Production costs would be @$50M per episode.
3) Planning to use "much more sophisticated" cameras
4) Waiting for production/special effects costs to come down.
5) Won't compromise on quality, but working to improve technology to tell story.
 We are now seven months since word that the project was on hold, and no further word on the future of the Live Action Series.  Now do not misunderstand, I think that Lucasfilm and its related companies do a tremendous job of fan relations, not only of giving us lots of info about upcoming projects but also in embracing the experience of being a fanatic.

Clearly it seems like the Live Action Series is on the back burner.  The Clone Wars animated series in full stride, both successful on television, in home video sales, and merchandising.  We also are gearing up for the Blu-Ray release of the Saga this September and the staggered theatrical re-release of all six films in 3D.

I fear that with the 3D re-releases, tentatively set as 2012 (TPM), 2013 (AotC), 2014 (RotS), 2015 (ANH), 2016 (ESB), 2017 (RotJ) will mean that the Live Action Series will be pushed back for the better part of a decade.  At that point will Lucas still have the passion, time or energy to produce the show?

We have Star Wars Fan Days this October 8-9 in Texas and potentially Celebration VI in 2012, but I would hope we do not have to wait for one of these conventions for some kind of update from Lucasfilm regarding the Live Action Series.

If the production costs are an insurmountable hurdle, how else could we get stories out there?  Well the obvious answer based on the success of The Clone Wars, is to do another animated show.  This approach however would pose its own challenges.

Assuming the Live Action Series is being planned and scripted as a 1 hour television drama, it would seem to be very challenging to sell networks on a 1 hour dramatic cartoon to play in prime time.  This would mean you are looking at a cable channel as the potential home for such a series, which means less households for viewers.  One of the bigger challenges may in fact be producing such an animated series to the quality that Lucas would expect.  We know how long it takes TCW team a ton of time and effort to produce 22 episodes a season of a 30 minute (22 minutes without commercials) show.  Imagine trying to produce twice as many minutes per season.  On top of that figure you would have to have another entire team of animators and producers in Lucasanimation.

I don't think there are any easy solutions to shepherding the Live Action Series to our television screens any time soon, but as a fan, I would love to get an update on the status of the show and any potential light at the end of the tunnel.

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you there, though you did scare me when you brought up the idea of doing it in animation. Honestly, I'll just be happy if it comes out in my life time (and since I'm a young adult, that gives them a lot of time!)