Before Lucasfilm sold to Disney the company was going ahead with a live action Star Wars TV series set in the criminal underworld of the galaxy far, far away. Rumor has it that dozens - if not a hundred - scripts were commissioned for this series. But once that sale happened everything got thrown out and the new Lucasfilm, under the direction of Kathleen Kennedy, focused on the movies.
But there were still rumors, and Kennedy herself said that this show - known as Star Wars Underworld - was something that Lucasfilm might like to pursue. Then we heard talk of Netflix cutting a deal with Disney - they're already chummy - and having a Star Wars series on the service by early next year.
TVLine quashes all these rumors, talking to the head of ABC as well as unnamed insiders, all saying that there is no movement on live action Star Wars on TV right now. Animation is where Lucasfilm is focused, when it comes to TV.
Here's a quote from an "industry insider":
"It’s smart brand management” not to do one. “I imagine,” theorizes the power player, “they’re looking to avoid the Marvel-ization of the franchise.”
This seems like a dumb thought. Of course they're trying to Marvel-ize the franchise - they're releasing a spin-off movie every other fucking year. The whole plan for the new Star Wars universe, as I first reported to you years ago, is to redefine longform storytelling. Lucasfilm wants to create a cohesive, coherent universe that is consistent across many films and media. They want this universe to be expansive, to have elements that appeal to everyone. They want to create Star Wars sub-franchises that target specific demos. They, like everyone else in Hollywood, wants to Marvel-ize the living shit out of their property.
What's more likely is that Lucasfilm is dead serious about quality control, and that they understand that live action feels very different from animation. Star Wars Rebels is fantastic, but even if it weren't it would not reflect back on the larger universe. A live action TV show that isn't so good - that would feel like a reflection on the larger franchise. This is one of the problems with Agents of SHIELD, if we're talking about Marvel-ization, although it's a problem totally mitigated by the Netflix shows.
I think we'll see a Star Wars live action TV show eventually. When Lucasfilm is ready and they've got their movie franchises soaring along. When they can really focus their attention on birthing a whole new corner of their universe.