George Lucas's Star Wars: Underworld TV Show Would Have Made Us Care for Emperor Palpatine

Monday, 20 June 2016 - 4:29AM
Star Wars
Monday, 20 June 2016 - 4:29AM
George Lucas's Star Wars: Underworld TV Show Would Have Made Us Care for Emperor Palpatine
The Star Wars franchise might be on the cusp of a huge expansion of gaming titles, but many of us are still licking the wounds left by a raft of cancelations and missed opportunities left in the wake of Disney's takeover.

From the awesome Darth Maul game that never was to the Star Wars: 1313 game that came tantalizingly close to release, there are many reasons for Star Wars fans to feel a healthy dose of regret. But, it wasn't just video games that we missed out on when Disney purchased LucasFilm and all the goodies that came with it. 

It's widely known that before Disney purchased the franchise, George Lucas was working on an expansive Star Wars TV show tentatively titled Star Wars: Underworld. The show, which Lucas had already written around 100 episode of before he made the Disney deal, centered on the criminal underworld communities of Coruscant in the time between the Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. It's believed that the show would have developed a number of new characters while building new background on many of Star Wars' more unsavory legends, such as Boba Fett. Many who have seen Lucas's early work on the show –including LucasFilm President Kathleen Kennedy– have praised its scope and ambition. In fact, the new hierarchy at LucasFilm were so impressed by the work that they've hinted they explore the idea in the future.



Now, in a very strange way, we might soon be able to see shades of George Lucas's potentially epic work in action. Cory Barlog once worked at LucasArts on a number of Star Wars gaming projects, but he's now responsible for directing the latest title in the God of War series of games for Sony. In a new interview, Barlog revealed that much of the inspiration for this more introspective God of War project came from his exposure to George Lucas's Underworld work, revealing surprising new details about the lost project in the process.

Opening quote
"Probably the really small beginnings of this idea, the germination of this - when I was working at [LucasArts], I was allowed to go up to the ranch and read the scripts for the [canceled live-action Star Wars] TV show," Barlog told VentureBeat. "It was the most mind-blowing thing I'd ever experienced. I cared about the Emperor. They made the Emperor a sympathetic figure who was wronged by this f***ing heartless woman. She's this hardcore gangster, and she just totally destroyed him as a person. I almost cried while reading this. This is the Emperor, the lightning out of the fingers Emperor. That's something magical. The writers who worked on that, guys from The Shield and 24, these were excellent writers."
Closing quote

This insight into the Underground story will likely have you feeling a little conflicted. Emperor Palpatine is not a character you would ever expect to empathize with, nor would you ever really want to. Sheev, Emperor Palpatine, Darth Sidious: Whatever you call him, this is a character who is the embodiment of evil. Do we really want to delve deeper into what made this man commit the crimes he did? Similar to how we didn't really want to see how trade and politics somehow brought about the rise of the Empire, some things are probably better left untold...especially if it means that one of the most evil characters in all of science fiction was created after having his heart broken by a gangster.
Science Fiction
Sci-Fi TV Shows
Star Wars

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