Jan 10 2012 11:30am

Rick McCallum’s Description of Star Wars Live Action TV Show Sounds Like a Cross Between Baywatch: Nights and Caprica

Everyone’s favorite Lucasfilm exec, Rick McCallum has been out on the road promoting the new film Red Tails, but naturally has gotten a lot of questions about that other Star Wars project, the mysterious live-action TV show. Well, IGN has a video of Rick talking about the show in which he reveals its title and what it will be about. Title, video, and summary below the cut.

The working title of the show is “Star Wars: Underworld,” which is supposedly going to be all about the “underworld” and the “gangs” which are controlling various parts of society. McCallum likens this to how “Wall Street controls the United States.” He also claims the supposed 50-something scripts are “timeless” and each one will be bigger “than any of the prequels.” He asserts the budgets for each episode will be very high because of “so many digital characters.” In the video below he also talks a lot about the politics of how TV shows are marketed and how hard it is to get these kind of ambitious projects done.

On the one had McCallum’s comments on the state of the monetization of television are interesting and a bit enlightening. On the other hand, it sounds a bit like a big old excuse for why this project hasn’t happened and spin control in case it doesn’t happen. Further, the exploration of the Star Wars criminal element has really been fully explored by various Black Sun storylines in all corners of the expanded universe from comic books to novels to games. (Remember those people pictured above?) So, the question is, will the official canon of Star Wars continue to alienate its base by ignoring large portions of what other writers have been doing with similar ideas for decades? In other words: will Xizor show up?

In anycase, here’s the interview:

Are you excited by the title and ideas behind Star Wars: Underworld? Terrified? Indifferent?

Let us know!

[video via IGN]

Stubby the Rocket is the voice and mascot of Tor.com.

1. LM

I'll be the first to admit that I enjoyed the prequels quite a bit (although in a different way than I enjoyed the originals), so it's not just because I am cynical regarding all things Lucas. But the direction of this show doesn't appeal to me, and I will admit it irritates me a bit that the continunity I followed for so many years in the EU is being totally disegarded. I'm a control freak and I like for things to fit together :)

However, my loyalty to the EU has decreased drastically, partially because I am sick of the 'gritty' feel they insist on taking Star Wars - so I don't care as much that they are overwriting it (althugh I did enjoy the Shadows of the Empire stuff; it's more the Legacy of the Force stuff that earns most of my ire). However, they are just overwriting it with more of the same crap. Now, I love gritty fantasy - I'm a big fan of GRRM, etc. But that's not what I look for in Star Wars. I'm so sick of the way all of the accomplishments and even philosophies in the original trilogy have been completely undermined by the latest books.

I'll still probably give it a chance - I don't mind some exploration of these topics...I'm just sick of it being the only thing in Star Wars nowadays.

Also, for the record - really enjoy the Clone Wars series but I hate Ahsoka so, so much. Worst Mary Sue EVER! I am a female fan, so don't give me that 'strong female character' crap. She's annoying, disrespectful (apparently we are supposed to interpret that as 'sassy' or something like that, but I don't buy it in what is supposed to be a military situation) and yet somehow is supposed to be the BEST JEDI EVER. BLAAAAH!
2. Syllabus
Give us a Thrawn Trilogy series, Lucas! Throw your disgruntled fans a bone, for Pete's sake. They're the only of the Expanded Universe books (minus Allston's Wraith series) worth a small screen attempt - heck, worth reading at all.
3. Jeff77450
If this series ever gets made I'll gladly watch it. But I'll always believe that the logical story-arc for a live-action series set between episodes III and IV should be about Darth Vader hunting down the 200-300 Jedi who survived Order 66 until only Yoda and Obi-won (wan?) remained. I see it so clearly!
4. a1ay
3 is a pretty amazingly depressing concept for a series.

The classic SF format is Monster of the Week. Same heroes, facing and overcoming a different threat each time. So you have 201: Our heroes land on a planet run by a computer gone mad. They defeat it and free the population. 202: Our heroes encounter a spaceship whose crew have been killed by a horrible monster. They kill it. 203: Our heroes face off against an interstellar slave trafficker, and defeat her. And so on.

This is like the evil universe version of monster of the week - every week has the same villain, but different heroes, who always lose. 201: Vader travels to a water planet, meets a Jedi, stabs her. 202: Vader boards a refugee ship, finds a Jedi, cuts his head off. 203: Vader lands on a desert world, tracks down a Jedi, chokes her to death.
5. sauron256
a1ay (#4), I take it you've never seen Battlestar Galactica? There's no need to get stuck in a formula, given a bit of creativity.
chris kenny
6. chrisblue77
Star Wars is like Final Fantasy, there wount be a good story till the top guy dies.
Sky Thibedeau
7. SkylarkThibedeau
Maybe the focus will be young Wedge Antilles and young Dash Rendar.
8. KeithGap
Seriously, the headline for this was totally ridiculous. I hope the show is great, and I hope they find a way to release it that remakes the whole TV marketplace. I personally hope George continues to ignore the existing "canon" where he wants to do something original. I never put much stock in it anyway, so I'll be laughing at the nerd-rage some people throw over something in a book no longer being "official".

Rick McCallum is a fantastic guy to talk to. He doesn't pull punches and knows the industry incredibly well. Lucasfilm is lucky to have him leading the way on these projects.
9. marsrover
I agree with 2. Syllabus

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