Forget the Knights of the Old Republic and the Clone Wars, the new Star Wars timeframe to obsess over has arrived.
Before we know it, Jon Favreau will have his hands in every childhood dream project imaginable. He launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe, retooled one Disney classic, is currently finishing another, and now he’s secured a place of importance in the granddaddy of franchise entertainment. As the big brain behind Disney’s first ever live-action Star Wars television series, Favreau has the opportunity to expand on the mythology not seen since George Lucas originally ignited the big bang of the galaxy far, far away.
The first question asked after the announcement was, “When?” Not when will the show premiere (sometime soon after the 2019 arrival of Disney’s new streaming service), but when in the Star Wars timeline will the series take place? Nerds like myself have been clamoring for some Knights of the Old Republic action for decades. You can’t utter Star Wars online without someone chiming in with a Revan plug. Give us Darth Malak!
One day we’re going to learn. Lucasfilm has no interest in our Old Republic desires. Simmer down.
Thanks to Nerdist hitting that Solo red carpet, we now know what time frame Favreau’s series will take place – seven years after the Return of the Jedi’s climactic Battle of Endor. While that’s not shocking given the news that Dave Filoni’s Star Wars: Resistance will also be fleshing out that period, we should be jazzed by this deciphering of the mysterious rise of the First Order.
Exclusive: @Jon_Favreau confirms that his live action #StarWars series takes place 7 years after Battle of Endor, between #ReturnOfTheJedi and #TheForceAwakens. Will feature all new characters, using cutting edge tech a la THE JUNGLE BOOK. Story coming to @nerdist… pic.twitter.com/iRyPS8hPDR
— Dan Casey (@DanCasey) May 11, 2018
One of the initial complaints lobbed against The Force Awakens was how J.J. Abrams quickly dismantled the accomplishments of the Rebels last seen in Return of the Jedi. Eager to have Stormtroopers and a plucky galactic civil war, Episode VII reset the classic conflict by relabeling the heroes as the Resistance and the villains as the First Order. Tomayto, Tomahto.
With Star Wars: Resistance and Favreau’s new live-action series, Lucasfilm can legitimize this decision born from nostalgia. These two shows have an opportunity to elaborate the galactic fall from grace that resulted in the crabby Luke Skywalker we saw in The Last Jedi. While the Rebels were quick to yub-nub with the Ewoks as the second Death Star exploded in the sky, their celebration was just a mask to another deep-rooted cancer.
These shows do not have to be all doom and gloom. Look at what Filoni accomplished with The Clone Wars cartoon series. What was technically an examination of the darkest days of Star Wars was also a loving salute to characters we were desperate to dismiss from the prequels. Those 121 episodes revealed the good removed from the awkward filmmaking of Episodes I-III. In the right hands, even Jar Jar Binks was shown to have value (Don’t @ me).
While Star Wars: Resistance promises to involve characters like BB-8, Poe Dameron, and Captain Phasma, Favreau explained that his series would feature brand new characters. Many of which will be accomplished by the same mo-cap technology he excelled at in The Jungle Book. Yes, let’s get nuts with the creature design.
In many ways, I’m more excited about these two television shows then I am in whatever Rian Johnson, David Benioff, and D.B. Weiss accomplish in their spin-off films. We know what a perfect Star Wars cinematic experience looks like (*cough* Empire Strikes Back *cough* The Last Jedi *cough* Again, don’t @ me *cough*), but the opportunity to live in this environment over a series of a hundred plus episodes is tantalizingly fresh.