Just before Disney acquired Lucasfilm in late 2012, Robot Chicken masterminds Seth Green and Matthew Senreich produced almost 40 short episodes of Star Wars Detours, an animated series that skewered a galaxy far, far away in a way not too dissimilar to the way Star Trek: Lower Decks does now. In spite of having been commissioned, produced, and even having had a trailer released, Detours was locked away in the Disney Vault and has never seen the light of day -- at least not until earlier this week, when a single, six-minute episode of Detours appeared online. Disney moved quickly to remove as many traces of it as they could manage from the internet, but the whole thing has just served as a reminder that some top-notch talent got a chance to play in the Star Wars sandbox in a new way, and fans never got to see it.
This seems like a perfect opportunity for Disney to release the series to Disney+, giving them what amounts to a new, effectively free Star Wars project for their subscription-based streaming service. When Disney vaulted the project, they still had the sequel series to worry about, so it's possible that they didn't want to see characters like Han Solo and Lando Calrissian being mocked and parodied in official product when they were trying to take them seriously in theatrical features.
But at this point, not only are the sequels done and those characters seemingly retired for now, but the Lego Star Wars Holiday Special has shown that Disney is pretty alright with self-parody if they can make a few bucks off it.
If the leaked episode is anything to go by, the series wasn't especially "adult." Certainly it wasn't as mature as jokes that Green and Senreich made in the Robot Chicken specials dedicated to Star Wars. It's definitely a bit more PG-13 than the Lego specials, but so are Marvel movies and a good chunk of what's already on Disney+.
Officially, the project was shelved so that Disney and Lucasfilm could focus on The Force Awakens, but even with a new trademark filed back in 2018, most fans have assumed for years that the project was unlikely to see the light of day. Now that some of it has -- and it's actually not bad, and definitely not unsuitable for Star Wars or Disney+ -- why not use the opportunity to make an official release happened?
It's not implausible. While it's not exactly the kind of behavior studios like to encourage, you can point to Deadpool as a good example. After years of being stalled in development hell, the film was put into production on a fast track after a computer-animated sequence leaked online that showed off how the movie planned to do fighting, visual effects, comedy, and fourth-wall breaking. The internet went wild and the rest is history.
If history were to repeat itself a little, we certainly wouldn't mind. From what we've seen, Star Wars Detours is definitely worth at least a look, and since it's Star Wars, it's hard to imagine that Disney couldn't find a way to make a good chunk of money off its release.