Live-Action TelevisionStar Wars: Underworld

Emperor Palpatine’s Story from Star Wars: Underworld informed new God of War


Star Wars: Underworld was to be our live-action television series. Of course it never happened. In the past we learned that it was going to tell stories about how Han got the Falcon, met Lando, Darth Vader and we once heard about a new Boba Fett action sequence with his rocket pack. George Lucas was said to have declared it the most fun he had working on something since the story meetings for Raiders of the Lost Ark.  It seems like those ideas have potentially been moved to the big screen for the “A Star Wars Story” films if they should use those elements.

The strangest element to be revealed comes from Venture Beat‘s interview with Cory Barlog where he discusses how Palpatine’s backstory informed the new God of War game revealed at E3 this year:

“Probably the really small beginnings of this idea, the germination of this — when I was working at Lucas, I was allowed to go up to the ranch and read the scripts for the [canceled live-action Star Wars] TV show,” Barlog told GamesBeat. “It was the most mind-blowing thing I’d ever experienced. I cared about the Emperor. They made the Emperor a sympathetic figure who was wronged by this fucking heartless woman. She’s this hardcore gangster, and she just totally destroyed him as a person. I almost cried while reading this. This is the Emperor, the lightning out of the fingers Emperor. That’s something magical. The writers who worked on that, guys from The Shield and 24, these were excellent writers.”

That’s really cool that Lucas and the writers were exploring that. On the podcast we always discuss how Star Wars is ultimately a story about redemption… with the exception of Emperor Palpatine. It would have been really cool to see what encouraged that psycho’s motivations for evil.

During the press coverage for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Peter at Slash Film asked Kathleen Kennedy about the series. She said:

No, interestingly enough, thats an area we’ve spent a lot of time, reading through the material that he developed is something we very much would like to explore…So our attitude is, we don’t want to throw any of that stuff away. It’s gold. And it’s something we’re spending a lot of time looking at, pouring through, discussing, and we may very well develop those things further. We definitely want to.

That was probably the last official word on the series and those stories that made up Underworld. It is good to know they are at least under consideration. If they’re really good, maybe they’ll become films? Maybe they’ll become Netflix miniseries? Or maybe they’ll just actually make the show. I will say, the show’s big ideas we’ve heard about sound too big to put on the small screen, which was the problem George Lucas and Rick McCallum had at the end of their Lucasfilm careers. Maybe we might still see these ideas on the big screen? I hope so!

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Jason Ward (EIC)

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