One George Lucas project from the pre-Disney era of Lucasfilm that never saw the light of day was Star Wars Detours, a non-canonical, irreverent take on ordinary life in the galaxy far, far away between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. But after years of being mostly finished but remaining in limbo, rumor has it that the series might finally be arriving on Disney Plus.
The Vulcan Reporter is reporting that Lucasfilm is finally moving forward with Star Wars Detours, as Disney Plus seems like an ideal place to drop the completed episodes of the series, which is a much more cartoonish and goofy take on the Star Wars saga aimed at a younger audience. They speculate Lucasfilm could make some kind of surprise announcement about the show on May the Fourth. This could even include the possibility that the show could start streaming on Star Wars Day this year, should this rumor pan out. (It’s not clear how many episodes could drop at once, though.)
An interesting aspect of the report is that the show itself actually got more episodes completed than what had been made prior to the Disney acquisition. While 39 episodes were completed before the show was cancelled, apparently at least an additional 13 episodes that were partially-animated but remained unfinished have also been properly finished in the years since the unreleased show’s cancellation, bringing the total number of installments to at least 52 episodes. (According to Seth Green, there were 62 completed scripts, so it’s unclear what will happen to those 10 remaining potential episodes). Even still, the new stuff will likely reflect how the series is a sort of time capsule, not including any content made during the Disney era, but instead focusing on characters and locations that were already established in movies that George Lucas developed years earlier.
The fate of the series has been a giant question mark for quite some time. Some had presumed that the last George Lucas-produced Star Wars project had been outright cancelled, never to see the light of day. Others noticed how Disney renewed the trademark for the series in June 2018, with some hoping for some kinds of life for a series that reflected a much different, much less ambitious future for the Star Wars franchise than what a large corporation like Disney would have in mind post-acquisition. In November 2020, a fully-finished segment of the series called “Dog Day Afternoon” leaked online, raising interest in the series… And now may just be the right time, as an abundance of new Star Wars content is being made for the streaming service, and we’ll be in for a little bit of a drought before it arrives.
The decision to shelve Star Wars Detours back in 2013 had everything to do with the show being a victim of bad timing. Lucasfilm had cancelled Star Wars: The Clone Wars days after the fifth season finale due to declining ratings and an uncertainty of where to take the canon; The Clone Wars ended up being the only non-movie work in the Star Wars franchise to survive the Legends decision, while everything else was deemed non-canonical. Although a sixth season of mostly-completed episodes of The Clone Wars was later finished for Netflix in 2014 and a seventh season properly ending the series finally arrived in 2020 on Disney Plus, Star Wars Detours remained in limbo for years. The issue was not only that the series was not only non-canonical, but that it was also a farcical take on the source material that Disney felt would be in poor taste to release so soon after the purchase and before first establishing a new era of the franchise. Disney Plus seems like a perfect home for the long-lost series, now that the sequel trilogy is complete and an abundance of live-action and animated Star Wars content is in the works.
The voice cast for Star Wars Detours features some returning talent from the films, such as Ahmed Best as Jar Jar Binks, Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, and Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, but it also features new voice actors in existing roles, such as Seth McFarlane and Emperor Palpatine, Seth Green as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Catherine Taber as Leia Organa, “Weird Al” Yankovic as 4-LOM, and Andy Richter as Zuckuss. Other voice actors confirmed to be involved in the series include Dee Bradley Baker, Abraham Benrubi, Felicia Day, Donald Faison, Nat Faxon, Grey Griffin, Jennifer Hale, Zachary Levi, Joel McHale, Breckin Meyer, Dan Milano, and Cree Summer. Robot Chicken co-creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich both developed the series alongside George Lucas. Brendan Hay serves as the head writer of the series, with Dan Milano, Tom Root, Zeb Wells, Doug Goldstein, Breckin Meyer, Kevin Shinick, David A. Goodman, Michael Price, Jane Espenson, and Rachel Bloom also contributing screenplays for the series. Todd Grimes serves as the show’s director.
With any luck, Star Wars Detours will finally reach its nine-year destination this year… And that’s certainly a pretty long detour to make!