The massive success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens — nearly $1.89 billion at the global box office so far — would seem to make a convincing argument for Disney and Lucasfilm to bring a live-action Star Wars series to television. But although a live-action TV project has been sitting in Lucasfilm's vault for a decade, the companies aren't currently developing any such shows, reports TVLine.
"They are focused on their movies," ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee told TVLine, referring to Lucasfilm and Disney, "so we don't have any plans at the moment." Five Star Wars films are scheduled to hit theaters between now and the end of 2020.
"Our current focus for TV is on animation," a Lucasfilm representative told TVLine. Disney owns both ABC and Lucasfilm.
Lucasfilm and Disney are currently producing the second season of Star Wars Rebels, the Disney XD show that takes place between Episode III and Episode IV. Prior to that, the CG-animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars ran for six seasons from 2008-2014, following the 2D-animated show Star Wars: Clone Wars' run from 2003-2005.
With Star Wars, Disney appears to be employing a strategy that's very different from its plan for Marvel Comics. In addition to multiple Marvel animated series, Disney produces two live-action Marvel shows on ABC — Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter — and a third, Damage Control, is in the works. That's to say nothing of the five different Defenders shows Marvel is making for Netflix (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Defenders).
A live-action Star Wars TV series does exist at Lucasfilm, but the project has been dormant for years. The company announced at Star Wars Celebration 3 in 2005 that it was working on Star Wars: Underworld, according to a Hollywood Reporter retrospective. George Lucas had been developing the show himself, and described it as "a little bit more adult" than the Star Wars movies. Underworld was set between the prequels and the original trilogy.
Slashfilm reported that Rick McCallum, a producer on the Star Wars prequels, characterized Underworld as "Deadwood in space" and compared it to The Godfather. Lucasfilm has scripts for about a hundred episodes lying around, according to Slashfilm.
If that sounds enticing, take heart: There's still hope for Underworld. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy told Slashfilm last month that the company has "spent a lot of time" going over the Underworld project. "Reading through the material that he developed is something we very much would like to explore," said Kennedy, apparently referring to Lucas. TVLine and Slashfilm have also reported rumors of talks between Disney and Netflix for a live-action Star Wars series.
We've reached out to Lucasfilm and ABC for comment, and will update this article with any information we receive.