Test footage from the scrapped Star Wars Underworld TV series was recently released online courtesy of YouTuber Holonet.
Take a look.
Holonet reveals the footage was produced by Stargate Studios, the VFX team behind Doctor Who, The Walking Dead, and The Orville, in partnership with Lucasfilm.
Io9 confirmed the test footage was legitimate, “a source close to the project told io9 that the footage is real but not necessarily what the final series would have looked like – it was proof of concept.”
Holonet then details that the Star Wars Underworld show was expected to take place shortly after the events of Revenge of the Sith and Emperor Palpatine’s Order 66. It was initially going to be set in the lower levels of Coruscant with plans to expand to other parts of the galaxy.
The show was expected to feature Boba Fett, Saw Gerrera, Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, Chewbacca, Emperor Palpatine, and Darth Vader according to a Google Document that has tracked the show’s life cycle.
The show was expected to explore a number of the major crime families and organizations that made Coruscant their home during the rise of the first Galactic Empire. One of those criminal organizations would be the Crymorah Syndicate and a story involving Darth Vader. Another of those criminal organizations would have been the Pyke Syndicate.
Along with a focus on these criminal organizations there would also see the formation of the Church of the Force. The Google Document describes them as “non-force sensitives who want to follow the religion during the dark times.”
It would also follow Saw Gerrera’s extreme group of rebels that we eventually saw in Rogue One, as well as showcase other Rebel cells who eventually form the Rebel Alliance. This idea was carried out in Star Wars Rebels.
There would also be a focus on how the Emperor phases out the Clone troopers. They apparently would have begun aging rapidly following the conclusion of The Clone Wars.
God of War creative director Cory Barlog revealed in 2016 that the new God of War was actually inspired by his time at Lucasfilm and his work on Underworld. He detailed the show would have also turned the Emperor into a sympathetic figure.
He stated, “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.”
“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 f****** 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.”
Star Wars Underworld was scrapped in 2010 with George Lucas citing budget issues. During an interview with G4’s Attack of the Show while promoting the launch of Star Tours: The Adventures Continue at Disneyland, Lucas stated:
“It sits on the shelf. We have 50 hours. We are trying to figure out a different way of making movies. We are looking for a different technology that we can use, that will make it economically feasible to shoot the show. Right now, it looks like the Star Wars features. But we have to figure out how to make it at about a tenth of the cost of the features, because its television. We are working toward that, and we continue to work towards that. We will get there at some point. It’s just a very difficult process. Obviously, when we do figure this problem out, it will dramatically effect features, because feature films are costing between $250 to $350 million. When we figure this out, they will be able to make a feature film for $50 million.”
What do you make of this test footage? Would you want to see a Star Wars Underworld show?