Now That Disney Owns Lucasfilm, What New TV Shows Would You Like to See?

The ramifications of Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm and its various subsidiaries aren't yet known (though, given Disney’s history, we can expect the company to never let Star Wars fall into the public domain, striking yet another blow against copyright law), but it’s fun to theorize with regard to what potential TV shows could come out of it.

In that spirit, I’ve gone through Lucasfilm's various catalogs and thought about what the TV versions of some of its properties might look like, as well as where they might fit within Disney’s TV mediascape. Since Disney tends to be highly controlling, the vast majority of the series it produces in-house end up on Disney-owned channels (ABC, A & E, Lifetime, Disney Channel, etc.), which limits the number of networks where new programs might appear. Thus, you'll have to think a bit imaginatively about how Disney might exploit the properties and series ideas listed below.

Also: Almost all of these ideas are actually based on properties from LucasArts, the video game branch of Lucasfilm—but that’s largely because it's the one with the fewest Star Wars properties.

So with all that said, here are five now-Disney-owned properties I think could work on television. Name the ones you'd like to see on the small screen in the comments!


That long-rumored “dark” Star Wars live-action series

Tim mentioned this project in his Tuesday's News Briefs. There are (supposedly) already around 50 scripts written for this project about the criminal and political dealings following the events of Revenge of the Sith, but Lucas and company have been holding back, waiting for the technology to become possible and, presumably, for television-production practices to maker the project economically viable.

Essentially, the show would need to air on a major premium cable outlet in order to work, and Disney just doesn’t have that. But I cannot imagine, provided the forthcoming S.H.I.E.L.D. series is successful (not to mention the video game Star Wars: 1313 and the just-announced Star Wars: Episode VII) that Disney won’t figure out a way to do some sort of Star Wars TV series (maybe something based on the Rogue Squadron books, but minus space combat? Rogue Commandos, maybe?)


Maniac Mansion

Maniac Mansion was actually already turned into a TV series that aired on, amusingly enough, The Family Channel from 1990 to 1993. That series veered pretty heavily away from the source material’s B-movie hijinks and more risque elements (oh, Edna) to achieve a more kid-friendly premise.

Sadly, a straight adaptation of Maniac Mansion just wouldn’t fit anywhere on a Disney-owned channel, and the challenge of balancing the humor and the horror—to say nothing of the iconic green tentacle—likely dooms the property to remaining undeveloped, unless Disney were to offer it up to Time Warner and tell the folks at Adult Swim to just go nuts.


Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders

Along with Maniac Mansion, this was one of LucasArts’ first adventure games for various platforms. The game follows the reporter Zak McKracken as he, along with a scientist and two university students, tries to stop an alien invasion. Despite the success of the game, and the positive reviews at the time, LucasArts never did much with the property. But given the game’s playful weirdness (aliens, Elvis, a humming that lowers intelligence), it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to de-age the characters a tad (not a lot), transform it into an animated series, and pair it with the Disney Channel’s already delightfully odd Gravity Falls.


Monkey Island

Beyond Star Wars, this is the property that Disney should pounce on when it comes to developing a show. The games are bright, fun, and were designed to be player-friendly at a time when such adventure games were designed not to be. Set in and around the Caribbean during the best days of piracy in the 18th century, a Monkey Island series on Disney Junior could be a neat educational show in the spirit of Little Einsteins. I can totally see Guybrush Threepwood leading sing-alongs and teaching kids about music and art.


Grim Fandango

Set in a sort of cartoon neo-noir world inhabited mostly by skeletal calaca characters and influenced by notions of the Aztec afterlife, Grim Fandango is about Manny Calavera, a travel agent for the dead who tries to helps deserving soul Meche reach the final destination quicker than others. But the world is ripe with crime and corruption, and Manny struggles to help Meche, as well as other "clients." The game drew heavily on Hollywood films of the 1940s, and would make an ideal Disney XD animated series.


I admit that I left Sam & Max off this list, but that’s because I'm not entirely sure whether Lucasfilm still has the rights to it or not. And I also left out Howard the Duck, but I figure someone’s already hard at work on it now that Marvel and Lucasfilm are together at long last.


What else did I miss? Or do you have a different idea for these shows? Sound off in the comments.

Comments (44)
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Disney already said the 1st POtC was nicked from the Monkey Island series.

Did LucasArts make The Dig? That was made akin to a movie and was awesome
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Lucas I think was holding back on his "gritty" Star Wars show basically because he wanted total creative control over it, a guaranteed 3 seasons minimum without risk of cancellation, and the ability to hold an audience, but realized that meant paying out of pocket for the entire show without a guarantee that anybody would air it. It's sad how poorly NBC Universal has ruined the Sci-Fi Channel that there was no chance of a Star Wars television show being on it. Still, USA, FX, TNT, almost any ad-supported cabler could have made a meal out of it, just not with all the costs of doing it entirely Lucas' way, some compromises have to be made for a current TV budget, there's no way to make a cinema-quality hour-long sci-fi show that reaches a large enough audience to justify its cost in any scenario, and Lucas should have either conceptualized around that or bit the bullet and sold it on itunes or something.

Lucas really wants a show that is available to a large audience, and one that's open to kids and adults alike, so premium cable is out IMO, it's a major cabler or even a network show, or it's nothing. So, what could they do with location and sets? Well, a lot really, if you look at the original Star Wars that's all it was, locations and sets, I know Lucas wants to be the king of greenscreen but actors are removed from the process to a degree and it's obviously too expensive. Then again, if they're building digital sets for the new movies, they could just recycle those. Honestly, I think a new SW dramatic show should involve less Jedi and politicians, instead focusing more on smugglers and troopers and leaders who actually are believable getting their hands dirty (this is what made Leia so enchanting and Padme so bland). Lucas wanted to do a bounty hunter show, and that felt kinda gimmicky to me, but it's better than watching people yammer about the senate and walk around sterile halls all day.
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i am thinking that C-3PO and R2-D2 would join modern family as Newly married gay couple

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Omigod! I love Grim Fandango. I will watch the shit out of that show. Hell, I'll watch it LIVE if they make it.
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Disney bought LucasFILM, but I don't know if they also bought LucasARTS. The games may not be Disney owned so we may not see any game related shows.



But they so need a Monkey Island movie. The trouble is that Disney already has Pirates of the Caribbean. But a Monkey Island TV series would be a great idea. They could cash in on the PotC interest while still being different enough for rights and other issues not to get in the way.



One of the least likely titles for Disney to do anything with would be Full Throttle. Just imagine dystopian bikers running through Disneyland.
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Lucasfilm was defined in the press release as also being known as Industrial Light & Magic and LucasArts, so all those properties come with. Not mentioned in the press release or anything so far that I've seen regarding this sale of Lucasfilm is Indiana Jones though.
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Staff
Except that Lucasfilm owns LucasArts, and was included in the acquisition. So...yeah.
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Yeah film is not arts. I would make only cartoons out of this games, maybe some for Adult Swim, eg Full Throttle cause there is already a bikers show and its called Sons of Anarchy.

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A cartoon remake of the star wars movies with Disney characters, "Donald... Mickey is your father!".

If Disney also bought the star trek franchise that would be so great.



And we now expect a Howard the Duck sequel obviously.
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Grim Fandango. Better as a movie or miniseries. Or anything for that matter, such a perfect story.

I would like also to see Maniac Mansion yes.



Even if Monkey Island would be the most profitable I guess, but there's the risk of a Pirates of the Caribbean overlap (but, on the other hand, Monkey Island is known enough to retain its own identity also for the public).
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Monkey Island would surely become a hit now that each Pirates of the Caribbean movie makes a billion $, a weekly show about pirates seems like a no-brainer, easy money. They could even use some if not all of the sets from the movies to cut costs.
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Thing is MI is based on Pirates of the Caribbean disney game, so i guess they didnt mind much when the PotC movies stole some ideas from the MI games
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Don't forget the game Full Throttle, especially now that Sons of Anarchy is very popular.
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I would definately watch Monkey Island (they can even start by turning the first four games into a series of two seasons) and Grim Fandango for sure (A movie, a new game, cartoons, anything with Grim Fandango would work for me, especially if they use this amazing soundtrack, which is one of the best in gaming history... Now, now, where was my OST? One, two,three... *and stary rhyming Companeros*) ... Sorry, I got a bit excited when I saw the name of Grim Fandango after many years...
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An educational series: Phineas & Ferb Dissect Jar Jar Binks.
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Is Willow on the Lucasfilms property? Because I think that would have been the next Once Upon A Time theme world. Of course since frankenstein happened, everyone believes that Leia is a Disney Princess now.
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Hell yes to a live-action Monkey Island! Guybrush!!!

I don't see why they couldn't do X-Wing: Rogue Squadron with space battles done in a very similar fashion to what was done on BSG.

I would love to see a show based on the new game Star Wars:1313. It's about the lower levels and criminal underworld of Coruscant.

Tales from Mos Eisley would be awesome - centered around the various bounty hunters that frequent Mos Eisley Cantina and Jabba's Palace and the dangerous missions they undertake.

Zak McKracken could be cool, but could also be very bad if not handled by the right team.

I can definitely see Maniac Mansion as a kids animated TV series, but nothing more.
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Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders sounds cool
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more young indiana jones episodes.
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Monkey Island was my entire childhood, I would be completely obsessed if they made a TV show!
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Disney already have Monkey Island... It's called Pirates of the Caribbean. :/
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When it comes to the Star Wars universe, I can see three potential series that may have promise.



One would be a series which, as has been rumored over the years, focus on the time between episodes III and IV. Part of this period has been explored in the video games with Power of the Force and its sequel. But I have heard that the series would not focus on the main characters but on lesser known characters which may work.



Another option, though one that is a bit less possible, is a series focusing on the earlier years of Han Solo and how he became a smuggler. Maybe even exploring how he met Chewbacca and his past with Lando. Like I said, this one is not likely to happen.



A third option that may have some merit would be a series focusing on the past before the prequels. One that looks at the first conflict between the Jedi and the Sith.



As was said in the article, Lucas was waiting for a way to do movile level special effects on a television budget. But there is one thing that may be overlooked here. Star Wars: The Clone Wars, an animated series, has been very successful and because of it being animated, it can show action scenes without eating the budget. While some of the potential series may be cost prohibitive in live action, an animated series may be a good alternative. Of course having an animated series does limit things a bit. You are not going to see an animated prime time series on a network. Even though Clone Wars has adult themes like death and violence, it is still considered a kids show because it is a cartoon.
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The young Han Solo adventures is the most obvious choice.



On the other hand, the possibilities for "Grey's Alien Anatomy" are endless. Set in a teaching hospital in the mid-Galactic Rim, a team of medical specialists treat a wide variety of alien diseases while all sleeping with each other in various combinations.



Once Upon a Time a Long, Long Time Ago.



Perhaps a straight up cop procedural that happens to be set on late-Republic Coruscant.



And the one I pitched earlier, a singling competition show located in Jabba's Palace. Fail to impress the judges, and into the rancor's pit you go.
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Can't imagine why Disney paid a reported fortune for properties that have been sucked out of all value by bad sequels already.
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Because they will sell billions of toys. And ILM are the top of the field.
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I would like for them to let Star Wars rest in peace. The first two movies were masterpieces, but the last three were complete junk.



Disney making more is just ensuring more bad CGI crappola.



Just let it go.



Of course, they won't since they think they can sell a bunch of merchandise to young kids if they put a bunch of cuddly aliens in the movies.



In the 70s, they were making original masterpieces, today they're making crappy sequels. How low has Hollywood sunk.
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Dancing with the Jedis? Droid Swap?
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A Beetlejuice-esque cartoon version of "Labyrinth"? :D
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Labyrinth was great, but that was Henson's magic, not Lucas', at work.
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Well, the film was a joint production between Henson and LucasFilm and since Disney owns the rights to the Muppets, it's probably wouldn't be hard to get Henson to sign off. Just saying.
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As far as the TV part of this whole thing goes it's a shame Disney bought Lucas. They don't have a cable channel that could air the Star Wars show they have been planning/writing all this time. If Fox had bought it we could have had an adult Star Wars centered show on FX.
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The very thought fills me with as much dread as another episode of Wilfred.
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"Cloud City" - a new ABC drama
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Television needs more bald cyborg administrators!
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Indiana Jones, some kind of reboot of the old series or maybe a new one with a new Indy... One that could replace Ford on future movies (Yes i kow Ford is Irreplaceable, but so was Lucas Art's being sold to disney...)
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Indiana Jones and the Curse of the Crappy David Koepp Script wasn't bad enough for you?



Don't you know that in Hollywoodese, Reboot = Awful piece of trash?
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Tell that to Daniel Craig. He doesn't seem to have gotten the memo.
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Hell yes, Monkey Island. But live action.
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Ghost Zombie Pirate LeChuck would look kinda silly that way.
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isnt Davy Jones + Black Beard a bit LeChucky?
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CGI would solve that problem.
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Darth Vader cameos in Revenge.
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How long do you think before you can get an official licensed Darth Vader helmet with mouse ears on it?
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theres an R2D2 with ears already so...
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