For 43 years, the Star Wars universe has created a long and expanded list of characters and stories that are still being used through several mediums. Casual audiences generally know that the movies are at the forefront in telling those stories, which is home to the Skywalker Saga as well as spinoff films Rogue One and Solo . However, hardcore Star Wars fans are well invested enough to know that animated shows ( Star Wars: The Clone Wars , Star Wars: Rebels ) and novels ( Aftermath ) exist.
More so, streaming platforms were added to this list when The Mandalorian premiered last year in Disney+, officially starting the dawn of live-action series for the beloved franchise, with shows such as Cassian Andor and Obi-Wan Kenobi on their way. However, the Pedro Pascal-led Disney+ series was not the first live-action series that Lucasfilm tried to produce in the past years. A new report has shed some light on an unproduced live-action TV series set in the galaxy far far away...
In an interview with Collider , veteran TV producer Ronald D. Moore, known for Outlander and Deep Space Nine , opened up about his involvement in the unproduced live-action Star Wars TV series entitled Star Wars: Underworld . Apparently, he was one of the writers assembled by George Lucas to put together a script for the show but plans didn't pan out:
“I was one of several, there was a bunch of international writers they assembled… we would gather up at Skywalker Ranch once every six to eight weeks, something like that. And we would break stories together, and right after we’d go off and write some drafts and bring ‘em back, and George and we would sit down and critique them, and then do another draft and break more stories… It was great! It was a ball, it was a lot of fun. It didn’t happen ultimately, we wrote I’d say somewhere in the 40-something, 48 scripts, something like that… the theory was George wanted to write all the scripts and get ‘em all done and then he was gonna go off and figure out how to produce them , because he wanted to do a lot of cutting edge technological stuff with CG and virtual sets and so on. And so he had a whole new thing he wanted to accomplish. And what happened was, you know, we wrote the scripts and then George said ‘OK, this is enough for now, and then I’ll get back to you. I want to look into all the production things.’ And then time went by and like a year or something after that is when he sold Lucasfilm to Disney.”
Moreover, Moore also shared that Lucas had a "very specific vision" for the scrapped series since he wanted it to become a "massive series with a scope not restrained by the typical limits of the television format."
“It was an extraordinary undertaking for someone to do. I don’t know anyone else that would really take that on… At the time, George just said ‘write them as big as you want, and we’ll figure it out later.’ So we really had no [budget] constraints. We were all experienced television and feature writers, so we all kind of new what was theoretically possible on a production budget. But we just went, ‘For this pass, OK let’s just take him at his word just to make it crazy and big’ and there was lots of action, lots of sets, and huge set pieces. Just much bigger than what you would normally do in a television show.”
Additionally, it has also been revealed that the unproduced show would have been set between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope and have a "heavy film noir element to the story." Moore even detailed that there is "one overarching storyline" that would connect all the "massive episodes."
“Yeah, I think it was pretty much one big storyline. It was one long tale with episodic things that would happen. You know, there would be certain events [that] would happen in this episode or this episode, so it was sort of an episodic quality to some of it. But it was telling a larger narrative, in terms of the story of those particular characters in that setting.”
WHAT THIS MEANS
Even though Star Wars: Underworld didn't see the light of day, this show would've been an exciting addition to the Star Wars lore. While fans did get the chance to explore the events between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope through the animated series, many would agree that it would be a delight to see it explored in live-action as well. It was even confirmed by George Lucas during Celebration III that fans might've seen some actors from the prequel films reprise their iconic roles in Underworld .
Not much is known about the story of the series but it would've given a brand new perspective to the franchise. The experience shared by Moore via the interview is bittersweet, as their hard work and sacrifice didn't result in a finished product. Nevertheless, with new shows and movies on the horizon, it's safe to say that there will be more stories to tell moving forward, much to the delight of many Star Wars fans everywhere.