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Canceled Star Wars Projects We Want To See Happen

Over the years — decades, actually — there have been a number of great ideas for "Star Wars" projects, from movies and TV shows to theme park rides and comics, that never came to fruition. Some are just ideas that George Lucas had more than 40 years ago, but some are more recent — including a surprising number from the 2010s. Many of these projects never became more than an idea, but some even made it well into development before being scrapped, and a very select few were completed or partially completed but then never made public. 

Not all of these projects would necessarily have added something new and exciting to the franchise, but some of them would have been, and still could be, great additions to the franchise that allow fans to explore new corners of their beloved galaxy. Here are some of the most interesting, exciting, and perhaps even unbelievable "Star Wars" project concepts that were ultimately canceled.

James Mangold's Boba Fett movie

James Mangold's Boba Fett movie is likely the greatest loss the "Star Wars" fandom will ever suffer. The celebrated director and Academy Award nominated writer who beautifully delivered the final chapter in Wolverine's cinematic story with "Logan" would certainly have brought a fantastic Boba Fett story to the screen. Mangold proved with "Logan" and "3:10 to Yuma" that he can make modern westerns with equal parts brutal action and thematic heft. 

While "The Mandalorian" has certainly offered fans a taste of the "Star Wars" universe leaning farther into its western roots, a feature would have allowed Mangold to flesh out a more epic story, to say nothing of the big screen canvas. This also could have been the first R-rated "Star Wars" film. It might even have been the film that brought the franchise back into the best screenplay category at the Oscars (the original film was nominated for Best Original Screenplay in 1978, but none of the other films have been nominated since then), given Mangold's previous historic nomination for "Logan." Of course, there's no way to know, but we can say with confidence that we would have loved to see it.

Star Wars: Detours

"Detours," an animated comedy developed by the creators of "Robot Chicken," actually has 39 completed episodes, but apparently it didn't quite fit with what Disney had in mind for the franchise when they bought it. That might seem surprising, given the success of not only the "Robot Chicken" episode made up of "Star Wars" sketches, but also the three extended "Family Guy" episodes, each of which parodies one of the original trilogy films. Clearly fans — and George Lucas — were willing to make jokes about their beloved franchise, and it seems that "Detours" would have been overwhelmingly aimed at the devoted, given that the released trailer is stuffed with references and puns based on lines from the films. 

It also seems as though "Detours" would have been a great way to give more screen time to characters who only appear briefly in the movies, like Dexter Jettster who, based on the trailer, seems to have been a main character on the show. While co-creator Seth Green has said that there "isn't an interest" in releasing the show, there might still be hope that "Detours" will eventually see the light of day given the success of the "Harley Quinn" animated show on HBO Max and the fact that Disney has clearly loosened up a bit with "M.O.D.O.K." on Hulu.

A Wookiee movie

A Wookiee-focused movie was an idea that George Lucas had when initially developing "Star Wars" and (somewhat disastrously) is part of what led to the infamous "Star Wars Holiday Special." But with the right script and a creative director, this could be something fascinating. Lucas' original idea was a film that didn't focus on Chewbacca (or his family, the way the holiday special does), but instead allowed for a more ethnographic study of Wookiees. 

No one knows exactly what the story would have been (except maybe George Lucas), but the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk has a significant history of occupations and uprisings that would lend itself perfectly to a Wookiee-focused story that delves into their culture while also offering great action scenes, and the classic "freedom fighters vs. oppressors" storyline that's such a staple of "Star Wars." And based on the battle that we get to see on Kashyyyk in "Revenge of the Sith," it could have looked great too. Which is important, given that the film would likely require pure visual storytelling given that we as viewers cannot understand the Wookiee language. 

While this may seem like a problem (and certainly was in the holiday special), it's also an opportunity for something really exciting and somewhat avant garde to be done with a "Star Wars" movie. A lack of spoken dialogue has brought us some fascinating movies like 2014's "The Tribe," a film with no subtitles in which the character's only speak in Ukrainian sign language, which was a major critical success.

A droids-only movie

A Droids-only movie was another concept for a one-off film that Lucas had in the '70s that similarly could have developed into something really interesting, and perhaps even touching given how much of an emotional connection fans have to some of the droids in the universe. The obvious reference point for this now is "Wall-E," which proved that you could tell a story that focused on robots and it would still be engaging and emotionally impactful. The major differences, of course, are that Lucas envisioned a movie with no human characters (and presumably no or very few other organic sentient species) and that many droids can speak in languages that we as viewers can understand. 

While the film would not have allowed for identification with human characters, it would have allowed for comprehensible dialogue between the droids. Like the Wookiee-focused movie, the idea here was not to extend the stories of droids that viewers knew already (which had been done in the cartoon "Droids," focused on C-3PO and R2-D2), but to tell an entirely separate story that explored how droids interact with one another when other lifeforms aren't around, which we only get (again, very specific 3PO and R2 centered) glimpses of in the existing films.

Star Wars: Underworld

"Star Wars: Underworld" was a live action TV series that was going to take us into, well, the underworld of the "Star Wars" universe. The show promised to be a more adult take on the universe, allowing viewers the chance to see fresh and exciting stories that weren't solely focused on the Skywalker clan. It would have taken place (as many "Star Wars" stories have) between the end of "Revenge of the Sith" and the beginning of "A New Hope" and explored the dark underbelly of Coruscant. The idea was to offer something much more morally ambiguous and narratively complex than the films. 

The small screen format and long form structure of television storytelling would have allowed for more dialogue and character driven stories, as opposed to the films, which require a requisite amount of action so that audiences feel they've gotten their money's worth when buying a ticket. The ambitions for the show were significant, with frequent Lucas collaborator (and producer on the show during its development) Rick McCallum telling SFX Magazine, "The shows we aspire to are 'The Sopranos,' 'The Wire,' 'Battlestar Galactica,' 'Deadwood,' all of that group." 

While Disney has now moved "Star Wars" into the world of prestige TV with "The Mandalorian," that show still feels pretty PG when compared with "The Sopranos," "The Wire," and "Deadwood." For now, we can hope that the fact that "The Mandalorian" has picked up a number of Emmy nominations will inspire Disney to reconsider moving forward with "Underworld."

George Lucas's sequel trilogy

George Lucas' sequel trilogy would have been very different from the one that we got from directors J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson. As revealed by Lucas in interviews for the book "The Star Wars Archives" (reported by Gizmodo), the most exciting aspect of his trilogy ideas is that the big bads would have been Darth Maul and his new apprentice, the Twi'lek Darth Talon — essentially, Maul in the role of the Emperor and Talon in the role of Vader in the original trilogy. Maul's power would not have been governmental, but instead criminal. Lucas envisioned a power vacuum after the fall of the Empire at the end of "Return of the Jedi" that would have been filled by Darth Maul, who would have united the criminal world and become "the godfather of crime in the universe." 

The films also would have placed Leia at the center as she works to combat Maul's influence in the galaxy and rebuild the Republic. Meanwhile, Luke would have been working to rebuild the Jedi Order from the remaining Jedi who survived Order 66, finding him on a mission to locate potential Jedi throughout the galaxy. The idea was to reveal in the final film that it is in fact Leia who is "the chosen one," as she is the one who brings the galaxy back together in harmony through the creation of a true republic. It's almost certain we'll never get to see these stories play out now that we already have a sequel trilogy, but with DC and the MCU both opening multiverses, what's to stop "Star Wars" from joining the fun?

Knights of the Old Republic III

"Knights of the Old Republic III" rumors abound recently, but nothing is yet concrete and there's no way to know what the game might look like or what plot it would follow given that it's been over 15 years since the last installment. But according to lead designer and writer on "Knights of the Old Republic II" Chris Avellone, there was always an idea for a third game which would have focused on "really ancient Sith lords who are far more terrifying than the Darths." 

These ancient Sith would have had such power that they would have had an impact on the environments under their control, which the player could explore and use to discover things about them. One of the most exciting aspects of the game would be unraveling the mysteries of these hugely powerful beings, each of whom would have a unique origin. We can't know whether these ideas will be a part of "Knights of the Old Republic III" if it ever moves forward, but we certainly hope so.

Star Wars 1313

"Star Wars 1313" seems like it would have been the video game equivalent of "Underworld," with the game reportedly aiming for an M rating. Players would have controlled Boba Fett as he traversed the 1313 level of Coruscant and unraveled a conspiracy. Like "Underworld," the game would have been more adult-oriented by virtue of both having brutal violence than the T-rated "Star Wars" games and the complex story that was character-oriented and focused on how the members of the criminal world in Coruscant navigate that space. 

The game would also, like the canceled Boba Fett movie, have been the first in its medium to focus solely on the legendary bounty hunter as opposed to the many games in which he takes a more sidelined role. But unlike the movie, which many (with good reason) thought would be more of a western story, "1313" would have been an urban crime story, something resembling film noir and mafia stories more than any western. At this point it seems that we'll never see this game in any form, which is a real loss.

Ewok Adventure

"Star Wars: Return of the Jedi – Ewok Adventure" was one of two video games developed for release alongside "Return of the Jedi" but for some reason, only its sibling "Death Star Battle" ever made its way to Ataris. Of course, Ewok Adventure wouldn't be developed for Ataris today, but the idea of playing an entire game as an Ewok is undeniably appealing whether the concept is retooled for something grander or remains largely the same as a mobile game. 

It's actually pretty easy to imagine this concept being retooled into something like "Little Big Planet," giving players the tools to create maps that include a variety of traps and contraptions like those that the Ewoks create in "Return of the Jedi." This would also bring a community aspect to the game that would allow players to share their creations with one another and perhaps play together in their fight against the invading Empire. 

Alternatively, though, it's also very easy to imagine that the original game, which which can be seen in prototype form on YouTube, would be given a fresher look and remain largely the same as a casual mobile game that passes the time. Either way, (mostly) everyone loves Ewoks, and a game that gives players the chance to play as Endor's teddy bears would surely put smiles on a lot of faces.

Battle of the Sith Lords

On the opposite end of George Lucas's sequel trilogy, which would have explored Darth Maul's future as a crime lord, "Battle of the Sith Lords" would have allowed players to take on the role of a young Darth Maul as he grows into a more powerful Sith Lord, but not entirely by his own volition. In fact, the game would have delved into how traumatizing the training of a young Sith Lord would be, with Maul being kidnapped by Palpatine as a child and then being tortured to imbue him with the great pain, fear, and hatred that would make him a powerful tool of the Dark Side. 

Sadly, the development of the game ran into timeline and lore issues with the plans to bring Maul back as a significant character in the "Clone Wars" animated TV show. Once that happened, the game development team was left with not enough information to work from while also being locked into new canonical facts about Maul's life. Eventually, after significant development and a number of shifts in the game's trajectory (both narratively and mechanically), the game was canceled. 

This isn't just a loss because the game would have further developed the story of a beloved character, but also because it would have been one of the franchise's most significant moves into the horror area, with a key aspect of the game being the way that Maul used his own fear and manipulated the fears of others.

A fighting game from Studio Gigante

In 2005, there was an untitled fighting game in development by Studio Gigante that would have been the franchise's second entry in the genre after 1997's "Masters of Teräs Käsi." It's rather surprising given the significant variety of games that "Star Wars" has spawned, and the regular release of fighting games based on a variety of well-loved anime which generally have smaller fanbases than "Star Wars" (except perhaps "Dragon Ball Z"), that no version of this has made it through development over the years. 

What makes this specific loss more significant is that the game was being developed at a studio founded by game developers who had worked on "Mortal Kombat" games and would certainly have brought valuable experience of how to make a great fighting game to the "Star Wars" universe, even if it likely wouldn't have been nearly as brutal as "Mortal Kombat." While games have evolved since 2005, and gamers got to play as Yoda, Darth Vader, and the apprentice from "The Force Unleashed" in 2008's "Soul Calibur 4," "Star Wars" and fighting game fans deserve another taste of what it's like to throw down with their favorite Jedi (and smugglers, bounty hunters, and Sith Lords).

Jedi Outlaw

In the development of what became 2008's "The Force Unleashed," there were many different "Star Wars" video game ideas and concepts that were introduced but ultimately scrapped. One of those was "Jedi Outlaw," a game concept that took place 500 years after Darth Vader's death, farther into the future of the universe than anything else in the franchise has explored. One of the most exciting things about the game was that this push far into the future meant that there were new Force uses that had been developed, including infusing armor and weapons with Force powers, and perhaps most intriguing of all, the ability to shapeshift. This leap into the future also meant that the organization of the Jedi and Sith would have evolved, and there would be a truce — if not outright alliance — between the two groups as they both served as members of "The Council," which would have worked to maintain balance throughout the galaxy. 

The game's main story would have had the player take on the role of the last descendant of Luke, described as a Jedi Sheriff, who is framed for the murder of another Jedi and needs to unravel the mystery of who has set him up and why. The game would have been an incredible look at the future of the universe, how uses of the Force evolved, and how the Jedi and Sith learned to work together, but in the end the idea was shelved as the creators were concerned that it was too far removed from the main storyline of the films.

A Speeder Bike roller coaster

Before "Galaxy's Edge" became the immersive Disney Parks experience set during the sequel trilogy that it is today, there were plans for a Speeder Bike roller coaster that would have placed guests in the middle of a chase based on the iconic Endor speeder bike sequence from "Return of the Jedi." According to Theme Park Tourist, he ride wouldn't have recreated that chase through the forest, but instead taken place on one of the galaxy's desert planets and had guests speeding through the wreckage of a Star Destroyer and doing maneuvers through a crowded marketplace. 

The most exciting aspect of the ride (besides, of course, the opportunity to live through a quintessential "Star Wars" experience like being chased by Stormtroopers) is the fact that instead of simply being strapped in to a seat for a roller coaster ride, attendants would have straddled the speeder bikes giving them a more active feeling of riding the bikes. It's unclear whether this ride's development has any relationship to Shanghai Disneyland's "Tron Lightcycle Power Run" ride, but based on the look of that it would be amazing to get something comparable for "Star Wars."

The Hatred Vector

"The Hatred Vector" was a planned four-issue comic mini-series that would have explored the Yuuzhan Vong, who serve as the primary antagonists in "The New Jedi Order" book series. The Yuuzhan Vong are some of the most powerful antagonists that Luke and his allies have ever faced (in canon or Legends), and they have a fascinating culture that a prequel comic could dive deep on, all while giving us more of the great artwork that we have in the comics that already feature them. 

There aren't many details about "The Hatred Vector," so it's unclear if the mini-series would have been more of a historical and ethnographic introduction to the Yuuzhan Vong's culture and power or if it would have served more as a narrative introduction to the events of "The New Jedi Order," which begins with the Yuuzhan Vong launching an invasion of the galaxy. Either would have been a great way to introduce these villains, and would have served as a nice gateway into one of the most revered series of "Star Wars" novels, perhaps even functioning as an entry point for fans who weren't sure about taking the dive into the Expanded Universe.