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"Star Wars" live-action TV series shelved


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#1 of 32 Joey Gunz

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Posted August 05 2010 - 03:40 AM

I did a search and didn't see this posted.  If it has, then please ignore this thread.


George Lucas confirmed back in May, 2010 during a Q&A session that his live-action "Star Wars" series has been shelved for now because it was too expensive to produce.   I love "Star Wars"  and I'm hoping that he'll find a way to finance this (the man is a billionaire!).  I found it odd  that he said this in May but I haven't heard anything about it in the media until now.  Anyway, I'm saddened to hear this.  I was looking forward to watching this series.  :(


LINK


Question (Audience Member): How are things going with the live action TV show?


Answer (George Lucas): The live action TV show is kind of on hold because we have scripts, but we don't know how to do 'em. Because, they literally are Star Wars, only we're going to have to try to do them...a tenth the cost. And, it's a huge challenge...lot bigger than what we thought it was gonna be.



#2 of 32 Patrick Sun

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Posted August 05 2010 - 03:52 AM

They should do it the way the "Hard Times of RJ Berger" show does it: animate the crazy action when needed.  Yeah, I know, the long-time SW fans would moan and groan about a low-budget SW show.


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#3 of 32 Joseph Bolus

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Posted August 05 2010 - 04:52 AM

Instead of a weekly series, Lucas needs to consider consolidating the eps into three 4 hour mini-series packages per TV season which could then be aired during November/February/May "sweeps" periods.  (ABC has already expressed interest in a such a format.)

Each mini-series could then be rented/sold to VOD and/or DVD/Blu-ray a week or two prior to the airing of the next mini-series.


And Lucas needs to hire a line-producer for the projects, set a budget, and then let the producer do his job.   The producer will ensure that the SFX budget is realistic for a TV production.

I don't see a problem here unless Lucas is just not happy with the scripts.



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#4 of 32 TravisR

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Posted August 05 2010 - 04:58 AM

Originally Posted by Patrick Sun 

Yeah, I know, the long-time SW fans would moan and groan about a low-budget SW show.



Maybe I'm cutting my nose off to spite my face but I'd much rather they waited (or never did it) than have it look like some low budget junk.



#5 of 32 Joseph Bolus

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Posted August 05 2010 - 07:27 AM



Originally Posted by TravisR 



Maybe I'm cutting my nose off to spite my face but I'd much rather they waited (or never did it) than have it look like some low budget junk.


Nobody is talking about "low budget junk"!  It's very possible to have a TV show approach "movie-quality" CGI effects these days.  See "Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars" as an example of a TV mini-series production which approaches movie quality CGI effects.   And that mini-series was produced about six years ago!!  More recently, "Battlestar: Galactica" routinely produced effects which were "good enough" on a relatively meager budget.     The secret is to not worry about animating every single piece of background object and just focus on what's important to further the plot.  In other words, a line producer which is knowledgeable with TV SCI-FI.   BTW, Robert C. Cooper (Stargate) is now available ...



 
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#6 of 32 TravisR

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Posted August 05 2010 - 07:58 AM

Originally Posted by Joseph Bolus 

Nobody is talking about "low budget junk"! 
 



I was replying to Patrick. I don't have a clue what The Hard Times R.J. Berger is but from Patrick's post, I assume that that show animates sequences in the middle of the live action as a cost cutting measure. To me, that would be low budget junk and while it may work fine for that show, it's not in tune with the high budget look of Star Wars.


Like I said, I'd rather wait (since the longer they wait, the better and cheaper the effects will be) than see them go ahead on a lower budget than they want and apparently Lucas feels the same way.



#7 of 32 SilverWook

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Posted August 05 2010 - 05:57 PM

Maybe George would be better off making Episodes 7, 8, and 9 now instead of a tv series. I know, he denies there were ever going to be nine films these days, but he's changed his mind before!


And I'd like to see Mark Hamill play Luke as a Jedi Master before I die.  /img/vbsmilies/htf/smiley_wink.gif



#8 of 32 Tony J Case

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Posted August 06 2010 - 10:08 AM

Eh, if Doctor Who can deliver good effects on a BBC budget, then certainly Star Wars can make back it's money. Even if the initial TV run doesn't break even, certainly the overseas sales and the DVD sets will put the show into the black.



#9 of 32 Bryan X

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Posted August 06 2010 - 01:20 PM



Originally Posted by SilverWook 

Maybe George would be better off making Episodes 7, 8, and 9 now instead of a tv series. I know, he denies there were ever going to be nine films these days, but he's changed his mind before!


And I'd like to see Mark Hamill play Luke as a Jedi Master before I die.  /img/vbsmilies/htf/smiley_wink.gif



Shoot, I have an old Bantha Tracks newsletter with an interview with George where he says that Star Wars is a 12 movie saga.



#10 of 32 Will_B

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Posted August 06 2010 - 04:53 PM

The delay is a good thing. Star Wars won't become good again until Lucas is long gone. So let the scripts be archived, and dig them out again in 30 years or whenever he's retired.


That even now, Lucas cannot imagine making a show without extensive CGI and green screen shows why he's washed up. He forgot that good acting and a good script is what matters. He forgot that a long time ago...


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#11 of 32 ChadMcCallum

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Posted August 07 2010 - 05:06 AM

The Star Wars movies had good acting and scripts? News to me.



#12 of 32 joshEH

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Posted August 07 2010 - 10:06 AM

Originally Posted by ChadMcCallum 

The Star Wars movies had good acting and scripts? News to me.


This.


People tend to view the original trilogy through rose-tinted glasses these days as some sort of "the-past-always-shines-a-little-bit-brighter-than-the-present" nostalgia trip, when in fact they're nowhere near, say, even your average episode of Law and Order in terms of sharp and tangy dialogue. Just download some of the OT screenplays some time, and you'll see just how clunky and unwieldy they are.


I think the prequel trilogy certainly has its share of issues (though I've been enjoying the hell out of The Clone Wars), but to elevate the original films over them in these areas is ignoring the forest for the trees.


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#13 of 32 Will_B

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Posted August 07 2010 - 01:18 PM

[see below]



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#14 of 32 Will_B

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Posted August 07 2010 - 01:19 PM



Originally Posted by ChadMcCallum 

The Star Wars movies had good acting and scripts? News to me.


I didn't say they did. I said that good acting and scripts is what matters. And I stand by that. Don't you agree?


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#15 of 32 SilverWook

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Posted August 07 2010 - 03:03 PM

Comparing a grim gritty police procedural to a trilogy of films largely inspired by old Flash Gordon serials? /img/vbsmilies/htf/confused.gif


And I don't buy the rose colored glasses argument. Many fans ripped on Return of the Jedi when it came out, and still do.



#16 of 32 TravisR

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Posted August 07 2010 - 03:10 PM

Originally Posted by SilverWook 

And I don't buy the rose colored glasses argument. Many fans ripped on Return of the Jedi when it came out, and still do.



Yeah but I think there's plenty of fans who nitpick every aspect of the prequels but since Return Of The Jedi is part of fond childhood memories, they don't have that same vicious attitude towards that movie.


As for the acting in all of the Star Wars movies, I think it's basically fine for the big space opera melodramas that those actors are in.



#17 of 32 Will_B

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Posted August 07 2010 - 04:55 PM

The story of the first three was better though -- a wizard and apprentice fighting a scary guy and rescuing a damsel in the distress. Who then backstabs the hero and goes off with the rogue. A traditional story, 'cept for that last bit.


The last three, with the planetary tax problem, or some bill becoming law or whatever the problem was, was too abstract, as many have noted.


My point is, that even if the acting in the prequels was as good as the original films (and I'd argue it was flatter), the prequels did not have a traditional story, so they'll never be thought of as being as good. Even if viewed all at once a hundred years from now, people will still recognize a simple but effective story in the original films, and be scratching their heads about the parlimentary procedures in the prequels.


I'd like to assume the tv series scripts have actual plots, of the action/adventure variety.


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#18 of 32 Bob_S.

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Posted August 07 2010 - 11:17 PM

This doesn't surprise me at all. Ever since a live action series was announced, I was thinking "if this is going to look anything like star wars, it's just going to cost too much." They may be able to pull off a 2 or 3 episode a year deal, but still the effects won't match the movies or the animated series. I'd like to see them do a more realistic animated series during the Old Republic years, you know the Darth Bane period.


Now about the acting in the movies, I've come to realize that Lucas is unable to direct inexperienced or untalented actors. Mark Hamill's and Carrie Fisher's acting in ANH is horrible. But in ESB Kershner was able to bring out good performances from them. In ROTJ, again their acting was sub par and Harrison Ford acted like he didn't even want to be there. In the prequels, the only really bad acting I saw was from the kid who played Anakin in TPM. I thought the acting from everyone else was fine.



#19 of 32 Joey Gunz

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Posted August 08 2010 - 03:06 AM

What George Lucas could do is instead of giving "Star Wars" to one of the major TV networks (CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC & CW), he could opt for one of cable TV's premium channels such as HBO, SHOWTIME, TMC, STARZ, CINEMAX, ENCORE, EPIX, etc.  He may not be able to do 24 episodes per year but 10 or 12 episodes per year isn't too bad.

I think the premium cable channels would all eagerly jump at the chance to get involved regardless of the cost.  STARZ has been on a rampage these past couple of years looking for new series to compete against HBO so I would think they would be especially eager to land the "Star Wars" franchise.  George Lucas just has to be realistic and be open to other options.  The standard TV channels may offer more viewers but the premium channels will offer more artistic freedom and money.

This live-action series is absolutely doable.



#20 of 32 Joseph Bolus

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Posted August 08 2010 - 04:11 AM



Originally Posted by Joey Gunz 

What George Lucas could do is instead of giving "Star Wars" to one of the major TV networks (CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC & CW), he could opt for one of cable TV's premium channels such as HBO, SHOWTIME, TMC, STARZ, CINEMAX, ENCORE, EPIX, etc.  He may not be able to do 24 episodes per year but 10 or 12 episodes per year isn't too bad.



The rumor is that ABC has a multi-year option on the live action series ... So it could be 2012 or later before the other networks could get involved ...   But ABC really does want to do that "Sweeps" mini-series thing.  It's just that Lucas is fixated on a 5 year, 20 episodes/year series.  So he would need to consolidate those 20 eps into essentially 12 (three four hour mini-series) per year which he doesn't seem to think is viable.  Again, a long-time SCI-FI/TV producer (like the aforementioned Robert C. Cooper) could definitely make this work.  Heck, the final ep of Stargate: Atlantis was a three-hour episode which he crammed into 43 minutes -- and it actually works!  (BTW, Cooper recently left the Stargate franchise.)



 


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