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Producer Rick McCallum Says"Adult" 'Star Wars' TV Series Would Be Like "Deadwood In Space"

The Playlist By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist June 5, 2012 at 9:05AM

There's no question a new standard of television has resulted from the last ten years, largely stemming from HBO's original programming, with shows like “The Sopranos,” “Carnivale,” and “Oz” all brandishing new forms of storytelling that are unafraid to go to shocking and explicit depths to depict their characters' lives to the audience. That's all well and good for the viewer, who now finds himself with smart, engaging shows down every alley, but what does it mean for the long-gestating “Star Wars” TV series, and its suitable place on the air?
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Rick McCallum Star Wars Deadwood

There's no question a new standard of television has resulted from the last ten years, largely stemming from HBO's original programming, with shows like “The Sopranos,” “Carnivale,” and “Oz” all brandishing new forms of storytelling that are unafraid to go to shocking and explicit depths to depict their characters' lives to the audience. That's all well and good for the viewer, who now finds himself with smart, engaging shows down every alley, but what does it mean for the long-gestating “Star Wars” TV series, and its suitable place on the air?

Producer Rick McCallum answered that question, as well as giving an update as to the series' development, in a recent interview over at Den of Geek. “The TV series we have spent three and a half years on and there are 50 hours totally scripted,” McCallum said, “They're all second draft scripts, and it would probably take a year of prep before shooting would start, but that's because they're all very complex.” As the countless “Star Wars” encyclopedias and spin-off novels show, any attempt to build a narrative in the property's universe simply invites confusion, but McCallum seems more worried about the series' target audience overall.

He briefly covered obvious changes in cost vs. consumption in TV production, but then went on to drop an intriguing hint as to where the new episodes will go. “Our biggest problem is that these stories are adult. I mean…these are like 'Deadwood' in space,” he said. “It so unlike anything you've ever associated with George [Lucas] before in relation to 'Star Wars.' These aren't for kids. I mean, we hope they'll watch, but it's not being targeted at 8-to-9 year old boys.”

Well, if there's one thing “Star Wars” could use to jumpstart the franchise, it's a strong dosage of Calamity Jane (whom, come to think of it, Carrie Fisher has basically embodied as of late), but we doubt McCallum is ready to fully unleash an ultra-violent vision of the Force just yet. Still though, the series is rumored to focus on the peripheral smugglers, bandits, and thieves throughout the Galaxy, so naturally a host of seedy storylines could quickly take form.

While we wait to see if the series actually exists someday, Marvel is busy begging George Lucas for that other property, “Howard the Duck.” In a YouTube video (via Stitch Kingdom), Marvel's Joe Quesada pleads for Lucas, who was producer on the critically-savaged flick, to release a Blu-ray filled with extras just in time for the film's 25th anniversary, saying “You are the greatest thing to happen in the history of pop culture and buddy, 'Howard the Duck' put you there.” As it happens, Lucas is probably already clearing space in his garage as we speak for his experimental filmmaking phase, but Quesada makes an impassioned enough argument for the director to possibly consider the offer. It's unclear exactly how many share Quesada's generous assessment, but between this, the “Star Wars” TV series, and of course the 3D saga re-releases, it seems Lucas is trying his hardest to remind people of that opinion.

This article is related to: Rick McCallum, Star Wars, TV News, Television


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