From Underworld to Knights of the Old Republic 3 to George Lucas’ original sequel trilogy, there’s a lot of cancelled Star Wars we wish had been made.
May the 4th be with you! This month will mark the 40th anniversary of the original Star Wars movie, which of course went on to become a massive franchise far beyond anyone’s dreams. After the box office success of A New Hope and the transformation of Star Wars into a cultural phenomenon way back when, George Lucas indicated that he had some very ambitious plans for both a prequel trilogy and a sequel trilogy. Of course, only the prequels emerged as a finished project under his direction, leaving the rest as an unrealized dream until 2015’s The Force Awakens.
However, that’s nothing new for the Star Wars franchise. Over the past four decades, many intriguing plans have been laid out for that universe, and some of them barely made it past the development stages. So in honor of May the 4th, we’re looking back at seven of the cancelled Star Wars films, television shows and even video games that deserved — but never got — a chance to show us new sides of that galaxy far, far away.
Star Wars: Underworld
A live-action Star Wars TV series was a tantalizing project for the better part of a decade prior to Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm. George Lucas was so serious about making Star Wars: Underworld that there are reportedly completed scripts for 50 episodes, including significant contributions from Battlestar Galactica’s Ronald D. Moore and Matthew Graham (Life on Mars).
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 rumors, 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 favorites. With so much material already written, it’s not impossible for this show to make a comeback. However, Lucasfilm’s current focus appears to largely be on the new sequel trilogy and the anthology films. That doesn’t leave much hope for this show, at least at the moment.
Star Wars 1313
Star Wars 1313 was another unfortunate casualty of the Disney buyout, as was LucasArts itself. Much like Star Wars: Underworld, Star Wars 1313 would have been a darker and more adult take on the universe, and it would have also focused on the lower levels frequented by Coruscant’s criminal element.
It’s not clear how far along 1313 was in development, but a trailer was shown at E3 in 2012 and it was very well received. Just the idea alone is very enticing, and we’d still love to see it happen. But it doesn’t seem likely that Star Wars 1313 will be revived any time soon.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 3
In 2003, BioWare’s Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic captured the imaginations of Star Wars fans with its exciting storyline that was set thousands of years before the original movies. A sequel followed in 2004, but the third and final game in the trilogy never materialized. KOTOR 3 was in active development at one point, and it presumably would have dealt with the lingering threads of Revan and the Jedi Exile.
While Star Wars: The Old Republic brought Revan back and continued his story, we’d love to once again step into that character’s shoes and chart a new course for the future. There are still rumors that we may eventually see a remake of KOTOR, but nothing has been confirmed and it may simply be a distant dream… for now.
The Final Episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars
After Disney purchased Lucasfilm, the company abruptly pulled away from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, its hit animated series on Cartoon Network. That left fans with a shortened 13 episode final season that ultimately ran on Netflix, but it also meant that the show never truly got the series finale that it deserved.
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, The Clone Wars still feels like an unfinished epic. It deserves to get a proper wrap up, even if that story has to be told in a different medium.
Star Wars Detours
Unlike The Clone Wars stories, Lucasfilm seems to be content with letting Star Wars Detours sit on the shelf forever. Back in 2012, Robot Chicken creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich teamed up with Lucasfilm for Star Wars Detours, a comedy series that 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. All it requires is the will to do so.
Josh Trank’s Rumored Boba Fett Movie
There may still be a Boba Fett movie someday, but it won’t be directed by Josh Trank. After the breakout response to his found-footage superpowers film Chronicle, Trank was quickly signed to reboot the Fantastic Four for Fox and was also lined up to direct one of the first Star Wars anthology movies. However, the problems with Fantastic Four played out in a very public way long before the film collapsed at the box office. Trank subsequently left his Star Wars anthology film before its subject was even officially revealed.
Last year, word emerged that Trank’s project would likely have been a Boba Fett solo film, with other iconic bounty hunters also slated to appear. Considering that Fett had an inglorious death in Return of the Jedi, this would have been done largely because the fans have always loved the enigmatic character. We wouldn’t be too shocked if Boba Fett is still the subject of the third Star Wars anthology film, or if he shows up elsewhere soon enough.
George Lucas’ Sequel Trilogy
While the ongoing success of Star Wars belongs to many people, it was George Lucas’ vision that gave birth to the franchise. At times, Lucas’ plans for Star Wars have been at odds with fan expectations, but it was ultimately his prerogative to chart out the course of its future. And 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.
Remember, Lucas didn’t feel compelled to follow the Expanded Universe, so it’s likely that he had a very different future in mind for Luke, Han, and Leia. Dark Horse Comics previously produced an excellent comic book adaptation of Lucas’ early draft for Star Wars, and Marvel could easily use that as a template to adapt Lucas’ sequel trilogy. That’s assuming that Lucas’ sequels exist as more than just a broad outline. Hopefully we’ll be able to see that someday.
What unmade Star Wars concepts do you wish had been realized? Let’s discuss in the comments!