Date: September 28, 2004
Since last year George Lucas has been dropping hints regarding the possibility of a TV series. Today they are no longer hints. On USA Today, the TV series was confirmed by Lucas and now most recently the President of Lucas licensing, Howard Roffman, has quoted stating that a live action TV Series will indeed hit airwaves by fall of 2006.
George Lucas is not expected to direct or have anything to do with the day to day operations. Lucas during his USA Today interview said "Ultimately, I'm going to probably move it into television and let other people take it.....You know, I've got offshoot novels, I've got offshoot comics. So it's very easy to say, "Well, OK, that's that genre, and I'll find a really talented person to take it and create it." Just like the comic books and the novels are somebody else's way of doing it. I don't mind that. Some of it might turn out to be pretty good. If I get the right people involved, it could be interesting.
All indications from Skywalker Ranch point to George wanting to find someone to take creative control from his hands. George will remain as an "Executive Producer" but wants to have a creative team including veteran sci-fi writers and directors. The most interesting thing is that George is wanting to hand over the reigns of Star Wars to someone who will respect the films and is actually a fan of the saga. One name keeps popping up during my calls to my "Ranch" associates as a perfect candidate to become "Lord" over Star Wars. According to Lucasfilm insiders George would like someone with writing and directing experience and that already has a connection with the fan base and also be an independent film maker.
So who is this "Fan Boy" that Lucasfilm would like to recruit? Before I drop any names I am sure that plenty of you guys and gals will think that I am absolutely crazy and out of my mind. The first name that I was given was no other than Kevin Smith. "Kevin Smith would be the ideal person to handle a Star Wars TV series", the IESB was told. "He is well recognized with the fandom and he was worked on some capacity with Lucasfilm during a Hasbro commercial a few years back, he is also a very good writer," said the source.
So would Kevin Smith be interested in getting involved in some capacity with Star Wars TV? You normally don't get directors from the big screen go to the small screen but if there is any truth to these speculations we might have the best of Star Wars ahead of us. But as much optimism there is from one side of the Ranch there is also some pessimism. "I just hope that he [George] doesn't just do the TV series for the money that it will make and end up giving us a weekly kiddie show, he needs to learn from the mistakes from Star Trek and give sci-fi fans a quality show," said the source.
In a recent interview that we had with Star Trek head honchos Rick Berman and Manny Coto we asked them what kind of advice they would offer George Lucas regarding a weekly Star Wars TV series. "Its one thing to have three years and over a 100 million dollars to create a one 2 hour movie compared to 22 to 26 one hour episodes in a year with a very limited budget and still have to remain fresh in the eyes of your audience", said Berman. Manny Coto also had a good point when he said " You have to concentrate on the story and also the characters and not make a weekly special effects show." When asked if he had any other advice for George, "He can always hire me if Enterprise doesn't work out".
So who will helm the new Star Wars TV series? Who ever it is will probably be brought aboard right after ROTS premieres in May 2005. A fall 2006 release would give Lucasfilm one year to get the TV series ready to blast off.