The cable channel Starz showed Star Wars: The Force Awakens on September 10th. On September 20th, both the prequel and original trilogies aired on TNT. This is the first time that any Star Wars movies have ever aired on network or cable television. This, of course, does not count any animated Star Wars TV shows or movies or films about Life Day or Ewoks. Those movies don’t count.
Earlier this year, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Fox, and Turner signed a contract that gives Turner Cable the rights to broadcast the blockbuster films. The deal is valued at over $250 million, will run through 2022, and will include rights to 11 movies. This means that Turner Cable and their subsidiaries like TNT will have the rights to all three trilogies and any spin-off movies released through 2022.
Now, and this is just speculation, this could also indicate that the television conglomerate may also be first in line for any live-action television shows. It has been long rumored that the universe would find its way off the big screen and onto the small screen in non-animated forms.
In fact, before Lucas sold his brainchild to the House that Mickey Built, George had drafted over 100 scripts for a live-action television show. One report speculated that the show followed the events of the original trilogy. It focused more on the lives of normal galactic citizens than the rebellion or Empire.
When Lucas sold to Disney, the scripts were part of the deal and have most likely been locked away in some vault. Probably with the remains of Walt himself frozen in carbonite.
But with the purchase of Lucasfilm and the promise of a rebirth, nerds all around the world hoped to see more of the galaxy in non-cartoon form. With Disney’s previous deal with Netflix, there was hope that the streaming service would step up and deliver quality content.
This new deal puts the hope of Netflix playing rebel base to a new Star Wars series in jeopardy.
But who knows if or when we will get a Star Wars live-action television show. If we did, I would like to see the powers that be cover the old republic. While we can wait and speculate about which galactic era a show like that would cover, we can at least take comfort in that fact that we can now enjoy the saga in the comfort of our own home…without having to buy it.
If you missed the Star Wars marathon this last week, you can catch the second marathon which will air in December.