Speaking to IGN, Star Wars producer Rick McCallum revealed that the working title for the Star Wars live action TV series is Star Wars: Underworld, which fits the previously reported themes of a Godfather-like criminal organisation working against a backdrop of the rise of the Empire, between Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith and Episode IV – A New Hope.
Although they have 50 one-hour scripts already, that McCallum describes as “bigger than any of the prequels were. They’re complex, they’re dark, they’re adult,” they’re being held up by the technological demands of recreating a universe like Star Wars on a TV budget, estimating the cost per episode as $5 million.
McCallum says it’s just about breaking even, “not about making a shitload of money.”
We’ve enough to go on now to speculate, and given the time period and themes, could one of the characters in Star Wars: Underworld be the reptilian crimelord Prince Xizor, who was central to the Star Wars: Shadows Of The Empire game/book/comic/soundtrack extravaganza, set between Episode V and Episode VI?
Head of the Black Sun crime syndicate, deeply involved in the power-play between the higher echelons of the Empire, and based on the capital of Coruscant, his eyes could be the ideal ones through which to survey this dark period in the history of the Star Wars universe.
According to Wookiepedia, Prince Xizor became a Vigo lieutenant in the Black Sun and began to cultivate a close relationship with Palpatine shortly after the conclusion of the Clone Wars, and Star Wars: Underworld could chart his career rise as the Old Republic is slowly replaced by Palpatine’s tyranny.
By the time of the Battle of Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back, Xizor is deeply entrenched as one of the most powerful men in the galaxy, embroiled in machinations against Darth Vader for the Emperor’s favour, but a decade or so earlier, a younger, hungerier Xizor could be struggling to get to the top and consolidate his position in the predatory hierarchy of the Black Sun.
With Xizor’s nefarious scheming with local authorities, corrupt governors and senators, and distant Hutt crimelords, perhaps even a cameo from our old friend Jabba, we’ll need someone to identify with and rally around, someone whose story fans desperately want to see told.
Who better than Boba Fett?
Introduced as a secondary antagonist in The Empire Strikes Back, George Lucas recognised his feverish fan following and expanded on his back story in Attack Of The Clones and The Clone Wars, making him far more sympathetic than his depiction in the originally trilogy might have suggested. As the Empire rises, the antihero Boba Fett, still building his reputation, could become an occasional ally or antagonist for our power hungry Prince Xizor and his criminal cartel.
Daniel Logan, who played the young Boba Fett in Episode II and voiced him in The Clone Wars has expressed an interest in returning to the role, and he’d be roughly the right age. In 2007 Rick McCallum confirmed that Boba Fett would be in the series, and he’d like Logan for the part, and although the concept has clearly evolved from his bounty hunter-centric early incarnation, we’d still like to see the young Fett’s early adventures.
As The Phantom Menace 3D is coming in 10 February 2012, Attack Of The Clones is coming 2013, and presumably Episodes III and VI are due 2014 and 2015 – could we expect to see Star Wars: Underworld on our screens around that time?
What do you think? Could we be seeing the underworld adventures of Boba Fett and Prince Xizor in 2014?