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SYFY WIRE Ronald D. Moore

Battlestar Galactica's Ronald D. Moore on Outlander spinoff, why he'd 'love' to tackle Star Wars

By Matthew Jackson
Ronald D. Moore

Ronald D. Moore is a busy man with his hands in a lot of major television projects at the moment. Though he's turned over day-to-day showrunning operations on his hit series Outlander over to Matt Roberts, he remains an executive producer on the Starz epic, while also shepherding the Apple TV+ series For All Mankind and developing a new version of Swiss Family Robinson as part of a new deal with 20th Television.

It's a lot to juggle, but that doesn't mean Moore has stopped looking to the horizon. 

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter's TV's Top 5 podcast to promote the second season of For All Mankind, Moore discussed some of his hopes for his new deal through 20th TV, a subisdiary of Disney since the House of Mouse purchased 20th Century Fox. Moore is a self-professed lifelong fan of Disneyland who apparently loves the park so much he sometimes visits all by himself, but he's also a huge Star Wars fan who saw the original film during its original theatrical run and spent some time at Skywalker Ranch a few years back developing a Star Wars TV series with George Lucas that never materialized. With that in mind, Moore is very conscious of his new Disney-adjacent position, and how it might lead to more Star Wars opportunities...eventually.

"It's always something that's on my mind but clearly, they have their Star Wars plate full at the moment," Moore said, referring to the numerous new Disney+ series Lucasfilm announced last year. "I'm not sure this is the moment that you go in and pitch a new Star Wars series over there. I would love to do something in that franchise. It was fun to go work on the abortive live-action show that I did way back when. I got a tremendous amount of thrill of writing lines for Darth Vader in one episode and it would be fun to do that again. It's just not the first piece of development I'm doing over there but hopefully I'll be allowed to do that at some point."

Then there's Outlander, Moore's adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's sweeping historical-fantasy-romance series that's garnered devoted fans and critical acclaim over five season on Starz. As the series nears the premiere of its sixth season, now under the guidance of showrunner Matt Roberts, Moore still reviews both scripts and edits on Outlander, and he's also involved in discussions about the future of the franchise, including potential spinoffs that would explore more of Gabaldon's world. 

"Conversations are underway on both season seven and on a spinoff and I think we're going to have good news on both those fronts before too long so I feel very optimistic about it," Moore said. "I agree that I would've been happy to see [a spinoff] happen sooner than this but everything happens in its time. I think both those things are probably going to happen and hopefully we'll be able to say something about it before too long."

Though his mind is mostly occupied by For All Mankind (which was recently renewed for a third season), Outlander, and that Swiss Family Robinson project these days, in the minds of fans Moore is also forever associated with Battlestar Galactica, the spacefaring franchise he rebooted into a military sci-fi epic in the early 2000s at SYFY. For some fans, Moore's Battlestar is the pinnacle of science fiction TV storytelling, but a new story set in that universe is now on the horizon courtesy of Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail, who Moore noted gave him a call before he set out to develop the project for NBCUniversal's Peacock streaming service.

"He called me, which was very generous. He didn't have to; I don't own that story — it was a preexisting property," Moore said. "He was careful and quick to say it's not a reboot. I was relieved to hear that. He said he had stories he wanted to tell in that universe that I didn't get a chance to tell and he could do it in these other places within the Battlestar franchise. I wished him well and I appreciated the gesture that he made to see how I felt about it. The important thing to me was that it wasn't a reboot. Sam is an amazingly talented writer and I am very curious to see what he does with it. I look forward to seeing it and being able to watch Battlestar as a fan, which I haven't been able to do since 1978."

For All Mankind's second season is now streaming on Apple TV+. Outlander is now in production on its sixth season.