Last year saw the debut of the first live-action TV Star Wars series with Star Wars: The Mandalorian, but George Lucas first announced he was developing a Star Wars: Underworld TV series back in 2005, with test footage from that project seemingly landing online. As you can see from the footage posted on the YouTube channel • holonet •, the production value looked relatively high, and with streaming networks not being as prominent and without much genre programming to be found anywhere on a large scale, Lucas confirmed that the project was being put on hold back in 2010 due to budgetary restraints. If the below footage is genuine, it's easy to see how it would require a larger production budget than was the norm a decade ago.
"It sits on the shelf. We have 50 hours," George Lucas revealed back in 2011. "We are trying to figure out a different way of making movies. We are looking for a different technology that we can use, that will make it economically feasible to shoot the show. Right now, it looks like the Star Wars features. But we have to figure out how to make it at about a tenth of the cost of the features, because it's television. We are working toward that, and we continue to work towards that. We will get there at some point. It's just a very difficult process. Obviously, when we do figure this problem out, it will dramatically affect features, because feature films are costing between $250 to $350 million. When we figure this out, they will be able to make a feature film for $50 million."
The series was to be set between the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: A New Hope, a point in time that Star Wars Rebels would go on to occupy. With Disney purchasing Lucasfilm while Underworld was sitting on the shelf, it would seem they were more interested in wiping the slate clean than attempt to revive former projects. Similarly, the studio had scrapped the plan to convert the original six films into 3D, with Star Wars: The Phantom Menace to be the only entry to undergo the process.
Underworld wasn't the only TV project abandoned by Disney, as the animated Star Wars Detours has also been put on an indefinite and seemingly permanent hiatus. Confirmed at Star Wars Celebration VI back in 2012, the series came from the creators of Robot Chicken and was a more comedic and whimsical interpretation of the universe. The creators have confirmed that dozens of episodes had been completed, but with Lucasfilm not wanting some audiences' first introductions to the franchise being a lighthearted parody, there are no plans to release it.
As recently as 2018, some rumors circled that a film could be developed focusing on the underworld of the franchise, though it would seem that both spinoff films and TV series would toy with those concepts while not officially deeming itself "Underworld."
Stay tuned for details on the future of the Star Wars saga.