The Messy, Disappointing History of ‘Star Wars’ on TV

Is a live-action Star Wars series finally coming to TV? The answer is a definite possibility that lands somewhere on the scale directly between yes and no. At least that’s the impression ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey gave at the TCAs.

“It’s all a little bit hush-hush,” Dungey said. “That company exists under a big shroud of secrecy. If you feel Marvel’s secretive, [Lucasfilm] takes it to a whole other level … [Talks] are ongoing. We don’t have an official timeline yet.”

That’s kinda sorta almost a confirmation of something, right? But don’t get too excited just yet. Live-action Star Wars series have been in the works for over a decade and hit nothing but roadblocks along the way. Today, let’s chart the disappointing and messy history.

We have to begin in 1978 at the franchise’s absolute lowpoint: The Star Wars Holiday Special. A year after A New Hope was released, when Star Wars fever was even higher than the Holiday Special’s writers, Lucas and Company capitalized on the mania with this – 90 minutes of nonsense. The special, set on Chewbacca’s home planet, introduced Boba Fett and gave us Bea Arthur singing in the Mos Eisley Cantina… for some reason…

That set back the TV arm of Star Wars almost 30 years, until 2005 when Star Wars: Underworld was announced. The weekly hour-long drama was to take place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, mostly in the criminal underbelly of Coruscant. Described as The Godfather and Deadwood in space, 50 scripts were penned, another 50 were planned, and nothing came of any of it. Mostly because of the insane cost.

But that wasn’t the only show in development at the time. Sure, there have been several successful Star Wars cartoon shows, but there was also Star Wars: Detours. Force Fanboys and Robot Chicken creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich were given the keys to the Lucas Kingdom to make a comedy about everyone in that galaxy far, far away. And what they came up with is disco-dancing stormtroopers and Darth Vader pretending to be urban. I suddenly miss Boss Nass.

39 episodes of Star Wars: Detours were made and thankfully, all were shelved. This is perhaps the best judgement call ever made by a post-Ewok Lucas.

Sick of reboots and remakes? Here are the stars who have said “no way” to bringing their series back to the small screen…

So what do you think? Do you wish you could get your hands on those Star Wars: Underworld scripts? And what’s worse: The Holiday Special or Detours? Tell us what you think! Hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram or leave your comments below. And check out our host, Khail Anonymous, on Twitter.