A long time ago in a TV network executive’s office far, far away, George Lucas and his padawan Rick McCallum made plans for a Star Wars TV show. No, not a cartoon—an actual show, with real CGI aliens and sets, and possibly some live humans thrown in for flavor. Don’t look at me like that! I’m not making this up! This actually happened! They’ve been trying to put it together for years! Well, as we all know, there is no “try”, there is only do, or do not. As so as we enter our fourth or fifth year of planning for the Star Wars TV show, Rick McCallum has emerged from his secret hidden fortress to give us some more insight into what the show will eventually look like. And if Lucasfilm holds true to course, your kids are going to be very, very upset with Uncle George.
For those unfamiliar with the whole bizarre tale, the series was conceived as a means of filling in the blanks between the end of Episode III and Episode IV. The Jedi Knights are all dead, the galaxy’s in a state of upheaval, the Empire is rising, gas and pizza prices are through the roof, that sort of thing. None of the original characters would be in the show; the writers would create compelling new characters using that ol’ Lucasfilm magic, scripts would be written, armies of software engineers would do the rest. Apparently much of that hasn’t happened yet, except the “scripts” part – McCallum says that there are some 50 scripts ready to go, which seems hard to believe, unless you saw The Phantom Menace and Attack of The Clones. At one point in the series’ development, McCallum said that the show would sorta be like The Godfather; the working title was Star Wars: Underworld, it would deal with the galaxy’s criminal element, and there would be a scene in which Jabba the Hutt’s father playfully chases the kids around the yard with an orange peel covering his teeth only to drop dead of a heart attack.
Well, now we’re being told that no, it won’t be like The Godfather, it’ll be like Deadwood. “Deadwood in space”, McCallum is quoted as saying. “Oh, so you mean it’ll be like Firefly?” sneered everyone who read that interview, including myself. No, by that he means that “it’ll be so adult…so unlike anything you’ve ever associated with George before in relation to Star Wars. These aren’t for kids…it’s not being targeted at 8-to-9-year-old boys.” Well, that kind of sucks for my son, Rick McCallum. He’ll be very disappointed when I tell him he can’t watch because the show is for adults only. “I mean, we hope they’ll watch,” says McCallum of those 8-to-9-year-old. Ah, so I’ll just need to tell the kid to cover his ears when Boba Fett starts stabbing random whores and calling everyone cocksuckers. Got it.
Of course, there is a Star Wars TV show (Star Wars: The Clone Wars), and it’s slightly less cartoonish than the three last Star Wars movies. And, as it turns out, it’s a surprisingly good series, one that works for grown-up fans as well as their kids. But the push for an “adult” version of Star Wars seems somewhat odd, given that kids are a big chunk of Lucas’ fanbase. (Lucasarts, George Lucas’ video game production company, is releasing Star Wars 1313 – a Star Wars video game set in the same timeframe as the planned new series, which may garner an M rating due to violence.) Then again, we’re about to celebrate the 6th or 7th anniversary of someone from Lucasfilm talking about a TV show that still hasn’t happened, and probably never will. And no, I don’t find my lack of faith disturbing.