Greeting fans at Star Wars Celebration III at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis over the weekend, George Lucas announced plans to launch both computer-animated and live-action TV series based on his space saga. The news comes as fans gear up for the May 19 debut of Star Wars: Episode III–Revenge of the Sith, the last film in the franchise.
The official Star Wars website, www.starwars.com, quotes Lucas as saying, “You know we’re doing a pilot television series now called Clone Wars. Well we’re going to take that and turn it into a 3D-animated version, full series.” He says the show will be 30 minutes in length.
As for the other show, Lucas notes, “We’re also working on a spin-off series with some characters who have appeared before that will be a live-action series. We’re probably not going to start that for about a year. Like on The Young Chronicles, we want to write all the stories for the entire first season all at once. I’m going to get it started, and hire the show runners and all of that, then I’ll probably step away.”
The series, as they stand at this stage of development, will take place between Episodes III and IV, focusing more on peripheral characters rather than central figures from the films.
Lucas previously told Animation Magazine and other members of the press that he would be moving on from Star Wars with the completion of Sith, mentioning a desire to return to smaller, more personal films. However, it seems the Emperor of sci-fi and fantasy is having a hard time stepping away from the franchise that has put him on the map.
While the films have taken center stage, Star Wars has a history on the small screen, beginning with the Wookie-centric Star Wars Holiday Special and continuing with the animated series Ewoks and Droids, and the live-action specials Star Wars Ewok Adventures: Caravan Of Courage and Star Wars Ewok Adventures: The Battle For Endor. Cartoon Network’s micro-series, Star Wars: Clone Wars, directed by Samurai Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky, recently wrapped up with the airing of Volume 2. A marathon screening of the animated series is scheduled for May 14, beginning at 7 p.m. on Cartoon Network.