Han Solo Almost Got His Own Live-Action TV Show

Han Solo Almost Got His Own Live-Action TV Show

Han Solo and Chewbacca

Star Wars: Underworld would have explored the seamy underbelly of the Star Wars universe.

There's been talk for years that George Lucas was trying to launch a live-action Star Wars TV show. Now that Disney has consumed everything Star Wars related (presumably by unhinging its jaw like a snake), more details have spilled out about the now-dead project. Entitled Star Wars: Underworld, it would have explored the backstory of everyone's favorite scruffy-looking nerf herder, Han Solo.

Years ago, when Star Wars producer Rick McCallum mentioned doing a show about the criminals and gangs of Star Wars, we now know exactly what he was talking about. In addition, we now know that Underworld would have had stories about key moments in Han Solo's life, such as the time he won the Millennium Falcon from Lando, or met Chewbacca.

While prohibitive costs kept Underworld from seeing the light of day, hundreds of scripts were written. Those scripts are now in the white-gloved hands of Disney. The House of Mouse is currently planning a TV show of its own, the animated Star Wars: Rebels, so it's doubtful if anything will become of Underworld. However, with all the Star Wars spin-offs that Disney is looking at producing in the coming years, chances are good that we might get to see a young Han Solo running from the law at some point.

Source: Slashfilm

Permalink

Blech.

You know, I'm all for Rebellion era stories that aren't tied to the rebellion. I like the idea of a "scum and villainy" show. What I do not need is "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles - Star Wars Edition."

Come on, Disney... come up with some original characters. You might as well since you decided to demolish the existing EU.

While that sounds cool... maybe they could make up a batch of new characters? Just a thought?

I'm with Scars and CrazyGirl; there's plenty of dark corners implied in Star Wars, we don't need Han lurking in them. The universe becomes progressively smaller the more focus is put on a small group of individuals, and when you have a galaxy to explore that's the opposite of what you want to do.

GOOD. Now go and make something with all new characters and locales. ffs

Suddenly I'm glad this got canned. After the horrible early plans to have Young Han solo on Kashyyyk in Episode 3, I don't want to know how they would have fucked up his backstory in a TV series.

Han Solo at Star's End forever.

I'm a bit surprised at the comments. As someone who generally dislikes Star Wars, I thought it sounded kinda cool and that it might get me more interested in the universe. While I know there's a slew of comics, books, cartoons and whatnot, a live action series would be prefferable.

Smilomaniac:
I'm a bit surprised at the comments. As someone who generally dislikes Star Wars, I thought it sounded kinda cool and that it might get me more interested in the universe. While I know there's a slew of comics, books, cartoons and whatnot, a live action series would be prefferable.

The problem is not the medium of a TV series (although it does raise serious questions of how much the special effects would be constrained by budgets) It's that it's a focus by Star Wars yet again on an already established and explored character.
It's been almost 40 years since Han Solo was introduced as a dashing rogue who shot first, and for any new Star Wars material to bring something exciting or fresh to the table it needs to be new, exciting and fresh content. Not the same dozen characters visiting the same dozen worlds getting caught in the same dozen traps and using the same dozen force powers and weapons to escape again, with the same dozen quotes thrown in as a cheeky reference to the original movies. (I've got a ba-ad feeling about this!)

I sound like a broken record asking for Star Wars to do something new with their IP, but I think they will never really make anything compelling without expanding upon the possibilities present in this universe, not by restricting themselves to already established content.

Hero in a half shell:
*snip*

I get the wish for new content, but at that point you might as well ask for a new sci-fi IP. As much as I understand the dislike of an IP having to appeal to a non-core audience (as a massive trekkie myself), there has to be a connection to the movies in order to get people to watch it, at least initially. Besides, most new things in the I-III movies were highly disliked.

Bottom line, it still puzzles me.

I'm actually glad they didn't make this. It's another case of executives thinking "This is good, let's make a crapton more of the exact same thing" only it wouldn't have been the same thing. This could never have lived up to original trilogy Han Solo and would just have ended up tainting the character.

If they would make a tv series about something entirely new, there wouldn't be anything to live up to and they could explore something new and make that great.

If done well it could be a fun series...Or it could be a Clone Wars style exercise in "Small Galaxy" pandering.

Problem is that we don't have a firm baseline reading for how Disney is approaching Star Wars on a small scale.

At the end of the day I think I'd still rather explore the galactic criminal underground through the eyes and actions of a new character rather than ride along with Han Solo as he hits all the assumed story beats (Meets Lando, Meets Chewbacca, Gets Millenium Falcon, pisses off Jabba, hides out on Tatooine.) with a bunch of filler meant only to connect each plot point.

Smilomaniac:

Hero in a half shell:
*snip*

I get the wish for new content, but at that point you might as well ask for a new sci-fi IP. As much as I understand the dislike of an IP having to appeal to a non-core audience (as a massive trekkie myself), there has to be a connection to the movies in order to get people to watch it, at least initially. Besides, most new things in the I-III movies were highly disliked.

Bottom line, it still puzzles me.

Perhaps if you think of it in terms of Star Trek then. How would you have liked Deep Space 9 if it didn't have Sisko, Odo, Quark and them but was instead based on Picard, Ryker, Data and them being temporarily stationed at DS9 (for several seasons) while the Enterprise was being retrofit in the background of the station or something. And all the stories were about these ST:NG guys while the DS9 guys were mere side-characters seen once or twice every season or not at all...and while some episodes occur ON the station most of them take place on the In-Repair Enterprise.

And then ST:Voyager was Instead about the Enterprise and it's crew (again Picard, Troi, the Crushers and them) being transported to the other side of the Galaxy for a few seasons. No Janeway. No Chakotay. None of them. And when they encounter the Borg (like we hadn't already seen the Enterprise deal with THEM before, right?) instead of getting the 7 of 9 character we get Borg-ified Data for a few seasons.

I think that is the gist of people's concerns. By keeping the Star Wars IP tied up with the original characters, ships and locations they'd be preventing all the other really fantastic characters and stories from ever being created...just the same ol' same ol' just in slightly modified surroundings as if Vanilla Ice Cream stops being Vanilla Ice Cream just because they decide to put it in a cone.

Edit: You can STILL tie new Star Wars stuff in with movie characters occasionally without making the new shows entirely about the movie guys. ST:DS9 occasionally did guest appearances with Next Gen guys without putting the NG guys as the show's focus.

Weren't there a bunch of novels about a young han solo? All about how he hooked up with Chewie, got into debt with Jabba and what not? Would the show have even acknowledged them?

You know what I want to see, a Star Wars series that's from the PoV of the Empire. Like the old Tie Fighter game. Where the Empire was shown to be a force for law, albeit heavy handed.

Kuala BangoDango:
Perhaps if you think of it in terms of Star Trek then. How would you have liked Deep Space 9 if it didn't have Sisko, Odo, Quark and them but was instead based on Picard, Ryker, Data and them being temporarily stationed at DS9 (for several seasons) while the Enterprise was being retrofit in the background of the station or something. And all the stories were about these ST:NG guys while the DS9 guys were mere side-characters seen once or twice every season or not at all...and while some episodes occur ON the station most of them take place on the In-Repair Enterprise.

And then ST:Voyager was Instead about the Enterprise and it's crew (again Picard, Troi, the Crushers and them) being transported to the other side of the Galaxy for a few seasons. No Janeway. No Chakotay. None of them. And when they encounter the Borg (like we hadn't already seen the Enterprise deal with THEM before, right?) instead of getting the 7 of 9 character we get Borg-ified Data for a few seasons.

I think that is the gist of people's concerns. By keeping the Star Wars IP tied up with the original characters, ships and locations they'd be preventing all the other really fantastic characters and stories from ever being created...just the same ol' same ol' just in slightly modified surroundings as if Vanilla Ice Cream stops being Vanilla Ice Cream just because they decide to put it in a cone.

Edit: You can STILL tie new Star Wars stuff in with movie characters occasionally without making the new shows entirely about the movie guys. ST:DS9 occasionally did guest appearances with Next Gen guys without putting the NG guys as the show's focus.

Knowing what I know, I'd prefer the new cast obviously. If I heard it and had a choice before they filmed the series, I'd likely feel more comfortable with the crew I know and love, but this whole argument is in hindsight and not a guarantee that it works everywhere. A hell of a lot of people thought DS9 was excruciatingly boring and unengaging. Besides, having a known character being the main protagonist of a series, doesn't mean the entire cast has to be from previous content.

Again, I get the point, but that people would outright rather have nothing at all than a show that would likely change based on reactions and viewership is not something I think is remotely rational, but rather a butthurt reaction (and I certainly know a lot of those, especially with the new Star Trek movies).

If you want me to say "Okay, I get it, it's your fandom area and you probably know best what would work." I could easily just concede and drop the discussion. After all, I think Star Wars was tedious and melodramatic to the point where the setting didn't interest me beyond lightsabers and even those are pushing my suspension of disbelief.

The way I see it, focusing on a non-jedi would've been the perfect opportunity to really dig into the setting and explore a more down to earth perspective instead of the epic proportions of the empire/rebel war. Does it *have* to be Han Solo to be good? Obviously not and as people have argued, it'd be better if not him, but the tie-in does make sense.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here