Ronald D. Moore Opens Up About George Lucas’ Scrapped Star Wars Series
During an interview with Collider, Emmy winner Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Outlander) opened up about his involvement with George Lucas’ unproduced live-action Star Wars series, Star Wars: Underworld that initially began development in 2004. Moore was one of the writers Lucas had assembled for the project.
“I was one of several,” said Moore, “there was a bunch of international writers they assembled… we would gather up at Skywalker Ranch once every six to eight weeks, something like that. And we would break stories together, and right after we’d go off and write some drafts and bring ‘em back, and George and we would sit down and critique them, and then do another draft and break more stories… It was great! It was a ball, it was a lot of fun. It didn’t happen ultimately, we wrote I’d say somewhere in the 40-something, 48 scripts, something like that… the theory was George wanted to write all the scripts and get ‘em all done and then he was gonna go off and figure out how to produce them, because he wanted to do a lot of cutting edge technological stuff with CG and virtual sets and so on. And so he had a whole new thing he wanted to accomplish. And what happened was, you know, we wrote the scripts and then George said ‘OK, this is enough for now, and then I’ll get back to you. I want to look into all the production things.’ And then time went by and like a year or something after that is when he sold Lucasfilm to Disney.”
Moore continued that Lucas had a specific vision in his head to create a massive series that was not restrained by the usual limits of the television format, with Moore describing that project as “an extraordinary undertaking for someone to do.”
“I don’t know anyone else that would really take that on… At the time, George just said ‘write them as big as you want, and we’ll figure it out later.’ So we really had no [budget] constraints. We were all experienced television and feature writers, so we all kind of knew what was theoretically possible on a production budget. But we just went, ‘For this pass, OK let’s just take him at his word just to make it crazy and big’ and there was lots of action, lots of sets, and huge set pieces. Just much bigger than what you would normally do in a television show,” said Moore.
Over the years it was revealed that Star Wars: Underworld would have taken place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. Lucas has shared that the story would consist of a “heavy film noir element.” Moore added that the large number of episodes written by him and the team of writers would have connected into a single overarching storyline:
“Yeah, I think it was pretty much one big storyline. It was one long tale with episodic things that would happen. You know, there would be certain events [that] would happen in this episode or this episode, so it was sort of an episodic quality to some of it. But it was telling a larger narrative, in terms of the story of those particular characters in that setting.”
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