Lucas Embraces Television

Mar 5, 2007  •  Post A Comment

George Lucas declared the “future is in television” Saturday, reaffirming his commitment to working in the medium. The “Star Wars” creator plans to bring the film franchise to the small screen as two series — one 3D animation and one live-action, both shot digitally.

Speaking at the Museum of TV and Radio’s William S. Paley Festival, Mr. Lucas revealed he will self-finance 100 episodes of the 3D animation series through his company Lucasfilm before selling it to a distributor. The series is expected to debut next year.

“There’s nothing on TV quite like this. I’m excited to push the boundaries of what can be done,” Mr. Lucas said.

The animation series will be set between Episodes 2 and 3 of the films, during the Clone Wars.

Mr. Lucas was bullish on the Internet and digital technology opening up methods of distribution.

“They’ll always be features and theaters but the [financial] risks are so high. The [television] medium is malleable enough that you can still get away with stuff. In the future they’ll be hundreds of thousands of networks. Anyone can do what they want. We’re entering a world where niche markets are the name of the game.”

For his die-hard fans, Mr. Lucas did reveal a few nuggets of information about the animated series. He described it as recreating the ambience of the films in cartoon form, with “smart-ass comedy with lots of contemporary humor.” He said one episode would exclusively feature clone troopers, and another episode would focus on Jedi Kit Fisto.

Speaking of the live-action series, Mr. Lucas was more cryptic, warning that it is “still a few years away.”

“It’s one show that’s going to be split up into four shows,” he said. “Each show focuses on a different character.”

On the feature front, Mr. Lucas said he is nearing the end of the development on “Indiana Jones 4” and “Red Tails,” a film about the Tuskegee airmen of World War II.

Beyond that, “I’m going to make little tiny films but I’m not sure they’ll make it to the theaters,” he said.

(Editor: Baumann)