"Forget Star Wars Episode VII—Six Ideas For Star Wars TV Shows"
Ever since Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed that the company would be making not just a subsequent Star Wars trilogy of movies, but stand-alone films based on individual characters, speculation’s run rampant about which projects are under development. There was word of a Yoda picture, then rumors of Young Han Solo and Boba Fett projects. We’re a long way from knowing what the plot and main characters of that trilogy will be, or who the stand-alone movies will definitely focus on. But because pointless speculation is awfully fun, and because I’m increasingly convinced that the best way to make the most of the Star Wars universe would be television, rather than movies. And just as Disney’s developing a S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff from The Avengers, I suspect we’ll get a live-action Star Wars show at some point as the company tries to make the most of its $4 billion in intellectual property. So if we’re making wish lists, here are six terrific settings for Star Wars television shows:
1. The Correllian Security Force: Cop shows have become a cliche, but one way to revitalize the genre would be to move it to another planet, add alien investigators rather than NCIS-style Mossad liaisons, and have the crimes involve smuggling, code-cracking, the Antilles family fueling station, and a class between a Vichy France-style dictatorial government and a spunky rebellion. Plus, if Disney is going to go the Muppet Babies route and tell lots of origin stories for Star Wars universe characters, at least a CorSec show would give us a young Corran Horn dating aliens, going after Booster Terrick, and wandering around unaware of his Jedi origins.
2. Rogue Squadron: It’s been a while since we had a broadcast network show about the military, and a story about a spunky gang of ace pilots/Marine-style commandos dogfighting with Imperial troops, liberating capitol planets, and teaming up with aliens to fight plagues—not to mention having spicy romances with each other—could be a lot of fun. The challenge for science fiction on television is always the expense of its special effects, but focusing on Rogue Squadron’s commando missions rather than dogfights could keep costs down, and let ABC compete with, and hopefully do better than, Revolution.
3. The Errant Venture: When we meet Han Solo in A New Hope, we only get a few minutes of him in smuggler mode before he’s coopted into the Rebellion’s cause. But the Star Wars universe smugglers are awesome! Setting a show on the Errant Venture, a Star Destroyer (for the non-huge-nerds among you, those big triangular ships from the movies) commandeered by Booster Terrick, a Corellian smuggler par excellence, that becomes part spaceport, part military vessel, and for a while, the site of the Jedi Academy. Think Cheers, just writ giant, criminal, and more magical than Bostonian.
4. Tales Of The Bounty Hunters: I’m meh on a Boba Fett movie. But you want an anti-hero show set in the Star Wars universe? Take a look at some of the other badass bounty hunters hired by Darth Vader to hunt down Han Solo. That, or hire Timothy Olyphant after he’s done playing Raylan Givens for FX. Either way, hunting down different characters would be a terrific way to tour around the Star Wars universe, and to spend time with some characters who aren’t simply on opposite sites of the Rebellion-Imperial divide.
5. Mos Eisley Cantina, or backstage at a Coruscant restaurant: Much of the time we spend in the Star Wars universe is with people who play pivotal roles in its political future. But what about folks for whom the Galactic Civil War is largely passing them by? What’s it like to live in a universe populated by a bunch of different species, with huge class divides, where some people happen to have quasi-magical powers. Give us the folks who are witnesses to Star Wars history. Oh, and make it a sitcom.
6. Kessel: Obi-Wan was wrong: there is a more wretched hive of scum and villainy—and also a lot of political prisoners—in the galaxy than the aforementioned cantina. Kessel, the Imperial prison planet, is full of hardened smugglers, Imperial resisters, and Black Sun gang members. An Oz-like show about how they build an alternative society together could be a little bit more hardcore and a lot more revealing than another hero’s journey movie.