George Lucas was quick to realise the cultural phenomenon that Star Wars was and this meant that the trilogy was going to be so much more than that.
As the announcement of Star Wars: A New Hope concert just took place, the live-to-picture performance of Oscar-winning composer John Williams’ iconic musical score will take place in the Walt Disney Theatre Dr Phillips Center for the Performing Arts later this year, we take a look at the Star Wars projects that never saw the light of day.
There have been plenty of planned TV shows, films and more over the years, and whilst disappointingly some of them never got the green light, in some instances we’re quite happy they never.
Star Wars: Underworld
The live-action Star Wars TV series certainly looked promising, that was before Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm though. Apparently, George Lucas was so serious about making the TV series there are 50 episodes planned with completed scripts.
Underworld would have taken place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope while shining a light on the darker and more adult aspects of the Star Wars universe. According to several rumours, Underworld would have further explored Coruscant’s criminal network and the continued rise of the Empire with new characters and occasional appearances by previously established fan favourites.
Who knows if we’ll ever get to see this show, we’d like to think so considering how much has already been written for it. But at the minute Lucasfilm’s current focus is largely on the new sequel trilogy and the anthology films.
George Lucas’ Sequel Trilogy
You’re probably thinking that we’ve in the middle of this, but apparently not. At different times, there were two very different sequel trilogies in mind for Star Wars.
Some of the original ideas for a sequel trilogy were tossed aside during the making of Return of the Jedi, including the notion that Luke’s sister was a woman who hadn’t been introduced yet. Lucas has dropped a few hints about what he had in mind in interviews from the ’80s, but he was still light on concrete details.
More recently, Lucas had plans for a very different Star Wars sequel trilogy that would have also brought back the original stars of the franchise. Disney and the new Lucasfilm regime had their own ideas, and Lucas’ concepts were ultimately set aside. However, we’d still love to see what Lucas had in mind for both sequel trilogies, and it’s not impossible.
Star Wars 1313
Star Wars 1313 was so far in development that a trailer was shown at E3 in 2012, but due to the Disney buyout it never went ahead.
It was planned to be a darker, and more adult version on the universe, so no wonder it was pushed to the back of the queue with Disney. It was planned to have focused on the lower levels frequented by Coruscant’s criminal element.
Who knows if it will ever be revived.
A robot film with no humans
George Lucas once has a droid-centric cinematic outing once planned. In 1980, Lucas told Prevue magazine that “as I was writing, I came up with some ideas for a film about robots, with no humans in it.”
“When the smoke cleared, I said, 'This is really great. I'll do another trilogy that takes place after this [the original trilogy].' I had three trilogies of nine films, and then another couple of odd films. Essentially, there were twelve films,” Lucas added, slightly confusingly.
At the time, the idea didn’t seem to float, though. As soon as 1981, it seems Lucas had stopped referring to the droid-heavy movie in his interviews.
There was a kids’ TV spin-off in the late 1980s, Droids, and although it wasn’t feature length or cinema-standard, this is probably the closest we’re ever going to get to a Droids-only outing.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 3
The video game captured the imagination of Star Wars fans with its exciting storyline that was set thousands of years before the original movies. A sequel followed the year later, but the third and final game in the trilogy never materialised. There are still rumours that we might eventually see a remake of the game, but nothing has been confirmed... yet.
Wookiees, and nothing else
Another character centric film was in the works, Lucas wanted a Wookiee-centric one in the eighties. In the same interview where he suggested the droids movie, he also said “When I got to working on the Wookiee, I thought of a film just about Wookiees, nothing else. So, for a time, I had a couple of odd movies with just those characters.”
Plot-wise, the world of Wookiees opens up many possibilities in the wider Star Wars universe.
Unfortunately, the idea stopped being mentioned, who knows if we’ll see a development of the Wookie characters in the Hans Solo spin-off movie that’s due to hit cinemas next year.
The Final Episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars
The hit animated series on Cartoon Network was soon forgotten after Disney purchased Lucasfilm. This means that fans were left with a shortened 13-episode final season that ultimately ran on Netflix.
Fortunately, some of the lost episodes have been released in different forms, including a Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir comic book as well as the Asajj Ventress & Quinlan Vos Dark Disciple novel. The animatics were also released for episodes including "Crystal Crisis" and "A Death on Utapau," an adventure with Anakin and Obi-Wan.
However, some fans say The Clone Wars still feels unfinished.
3D rereleases of Attack Of The Clones and Revenge Of The Sith
Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox planned a 3D re-release for the prequel trilogy in 2012, and The Phantom Menace went ahead. It even managed to pick up $43 million in the US to bring its original box office total over the $1 billion mark.
However, the releases of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith were later cancelled because of what was going on behind the scenes at Lucasfilm – the production of The Force Awakens.
Shortly after the cancellation occurred, Kathleen Kennedy released a statement saying “given the recent development that we are moving forward with a new Star Wars trilogy, we will now focus 100 percent of our efforts on Star Wars: Episode VII in order to ensure the best possible experience for our fans.”
The statement ended: “we will post further information about our 3D release plans at a later date,” so it seems the idea hasn’t been completely canned.
Star Wars Detours
The comedy series saw Seth Green and Matthew Senreich team up with Lucasfilm. Star Wars Detours would have lined up a few of the stars from the prequel and original trilogy, as well as fan favorites like Felicia Day, Donald Faison, Nat Faxon, "Weird Al" Yankovic, and Seth MacFarlane.
According to Green, 39 episodes of Star Wars Detours were completed before Disney purchased Lucasfilm. At the time, the new regime questioned whether it would be a good idea to dilute the brand with a comedy show before the new trilogy. However, that didn’t stop Lucasfilm from releasing the more comedic LEGO Star Wars specials or LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures.
Because Star Wars Detours has completed episodes, it is entirely possible that it could still be released.