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Credit: Lucasfilm

12 abandoned Star Wars projects we wish we could see, play, or read

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Feb 26, 2019

In the aggregate, the future of the Star Wars saga looks bright. These are not the dark times, far from it — we have a Death Star's worth of new content coming at us in 2019 alone, and it's not going to stop there. Still, when we take a look back at the franchise's history, there are so very many projects that have been canceled, abandoned, or just forgotten about. Not all of these projects fill our minds with wonder, but some do make us wish that we could get a look at them.

Bearing that in mind, it's time to comb through all of the Star Wars projects that never came to be. Since the saga uses all media, we've got movies, shows, games, and one particular comic to discuss. If this was last year, every entry here would be nothing but, "Finish Star Wars: The Clone Wars, finish it, more more more, now now now!" Thankfully it is not last year — we now know that the beloved series will be returning. Definitely didn't see that one coming.

If The Clone Wars can come back, then anything is possible. Each entry will include what our sabacc wager will be that these projects could ever come out of the forbidden Sith vaults and actually see the light of the twin suns. We've got a load of credits and there's a seat at the table, so let's punch it.

C-3POOscars

Star Wars: The New Emperor (video game)

This potential 1998 game from LucasArts falls into the "so weird and unlikely that we really want to see/play/watch it" category. Star Wars: The New Emperor would have taken place in a post-Return of the Jedi galaxy, one where a mysterious new Emperor continued the fight. That doesn’t sound all that different from some aspects of Star Wars: Battlefront II or the Shattered Empire comic, until you hear who the Rebellion/New Republic has tasked with a spy mission to infiltrate the Imperial Remnant and discover the secrets of this Neo-Palpatine.

The spy (that you would have played as) would have been none other than C-3PO, one of the least likely spies in the history of the saga. Maybe that’s why he would have been good at it? Assuming that Anthony Daniels was onboard with providing the voice (and possibly more, as it would have blended in live-action), this game could either have been great or unintentionally hilarious.

Our wager that it could come back: None, we're gonna fold.

Star Wars: Imperial Commando (video game)

This sequel to the 2003 game Star Wars: Republic Commando (see trailer above) would have potentially used many of the same game mechanics, except this game would have taken place after the Empire rose to power. The titular Commandos would have been fighting Imperial style.

The idea of fighting alongside Darth Vader in the hunt for all kinds of rebels and rogue Jedi is still exciting, even though the "fighting for the bad guys" trope has since been used (to good effect) in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Star Wars: Battlefront II, and the latter game's tie-in book, Inferno Squad.

Our wager that it could come back: Nothing. Folding once again.

The prequel trilogy in 3D

You might remember that in 2012, movie theaters were awash with new cardboard standees for... Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. What? Didn’t that already come out in 1999?

It did, but this was a remastered 3D re-release. Captain Panaka and company were back on the big screen, everybody rejoice!

The plan was to release all of the saga’s films this way (there were six at that point), doing Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones next. The Phantom Menace ended up being worth the money, and the podrace alone looked fantastic in 3D. Nostalgia-wise, it was great to watch this film on the big screen again. Yeah, I said it, throw whatever you want at me.

The Phantom Menace re-release came and went, and no word was heard about any clones getting ready to attack. That’s because Disney attacked first, and any and all assets that were going into these 3D conversions were transitioned into the new sequel trilogy. The clones never attacked in 3D, and the Sith are still waiting to get their 3D revenge.

Our wager that this project could resume: A few credits. You never know, once the “Skywalker Saga” of episodes 1-9 is over, they could remaster and re-release everything in sight, including this article.

BobaFett

Any Boba Fett movie

This is less of an abandoned project, and more of a…well, more of a phantom menace. A Boba Fett film has never been officially announced by Lucasfilm — all we have are rumors, but all of the rumored plans seem to have been jettisoned. Therefore, I list it here.

Josh Trank was stationed to helm the third “A Star Wars Story” standalone film, which many just assumed was a Boba Fett film. We don’t fully know what happened there (Trank’s Fantastic Four/Fan4stic/4tastic Four probably didn’t help), but Trank was relieved of spin-off duty. The long-rumored Obi-Wan Kenobi film (also never officially announced, not even a little bit) looked like it could take the place of Boba Trank, but then Logan helmer James Mangold was reported to be working on a Boba Fett spin-off right before Solo: A Star Wars Story was released. 

Though the Mangold story was reported as Jedi gospel, it was never truly confirmed. Post-Solo, the very idea of the movie blew away in the Tatooine sands. Before long, The Mandalorian television project was officially announced, and it seems like that’s where we’ll be getting our dose of Mando-business for the time being — though I say again, for those way back in the balcony, that as far as we know Boba Fett is NOT a Mandalorian.

All of this said, the thought of Mangold being in charge of a Boba Fett story was (and still is) enticing. The prospect of Mangold working on any Star Wars project is enticing, but a prospect is pretty much all this was.

Our wager that Boba Fett: A Star Wars Fetch could happen: We’d wager a modest sum that we’ll see Boba again at some point, though it may not be in a spin-off film. We’d wager everything in our pockets (and yours) that rumors of Boba projects will continue until the suns burn out.

Star Wars: Detours (animated TV show)

Seth Green and the Robot Chicken masterminds had 39 episodes of this animated spoof series completed when Disney pulled the plug on it. Not just written, voiced, or in animatic form — it was completed, fully done, and ready to watch. The show would have had the same sense of humor as the Robot Chicken Star Wars specials, and it would have featured Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, and Ahmed Best.

When Disney took command, they had to focus on getting people to take Star Wars seriously again. Having this animated riff from the people that did a 5-minute bit about Darth Vader in a toilet stall (which is still hilarious) might not have made that mission possible.

Still, 39 episodes done? More episodes likely to be already written? Jar Jar Binks himself, Ahmed Best, potentially in scenes with Billy Dee Williams? I'm so curious about this, and I really wonder what it’s like. I’m not saying "would have been like" because as I’ve said, it already exists.

Our wager that it could ever be released: Now that Star Wars is fully established again (and will be a cornerstone of the Disney+ streaming service), we’d bet more than a modest amount that Disney could potentially release some of this show in some fashion.

Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker

Star Wars: Jedi Outlaw (video game)

What would the galaxy far, far away have looked like 500 years after the events of the original trilogy? This game would have answered that question.

Abandoned before the great Star Wars games-in-development purge of 2008, this little-known project would have had the player taking on the role of the last of the Skywalker line, charged with maintaining a fragile alliance between Jedi and Sith. We know very little about what the game would have involved, but we do know the player would have been framed and on the run.

While the story itself might sound a little strange, the idea of the galaxy 500 years on is very interesting.

Our wager that it come back: The game? No bet. That some kind of canon story will go that far into the future? Very possible — it’s one of the out-of-the-containment-field places that Rian Johnson’s new trilogy could go. We’d wager on that, but not this game.

HanSoloForceAwakens

Ragtag (video game)

Does an open world sandbox game set in the galaxy far, far away appeal to you? Yeah, it appeals to me, too. We almost had one... or something close, at least.

Gamers would have taken control of a handful of scoundrels in Ragtag, flying around in their own scoundrel freighter. It would have taken place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, and fully dealt with the destruction of Alderaan. It began life as an open-world game, but then it morphed into some kind of multiplayer space shooter. According to a report from Kotaku, space heist sequences could have been similar to how things work in Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag, and that has me salivating like a Hutt right now.

Demos of the game (which gradually turned into a linear romp like Uncharted) were shown at E3 in 2016, but EA, the then (and current) holders of the Star Wars gaming license, ditched it.

Our wager that it could come back: Ragtag itself, nothing. Some kind of open world Star Wars game that doesn’t rely on a multiplayer mode and me getting shot in the back by 12-year-olds every other second? I’d bet a lot, simply because I want to believe it can happen. Anakin Skywalker may hate sand, but we imagine he loves sandbox-style video games. Hey-ooo!

An all droid movie from George Lucas

Here's another one for the "so odd I have to see it" file — in 1980, George Lucas was doing all kinds of interviews after the crazy, unexpected success of the first Star Wars. He talked about all kinds of insane things, and in one of these interviews he mentioned possibly doing "a film about robots, with no humans in it."

Needless to say, we haven’t gotten this film yet, and the world may be poorer for it. I’m not saying that this movie would be great, or even good, but I need to see it anyway. Most importantly, I need to see George Lucas’ version of it, and a version where the robots he mentions are Star Wars droids.

The notion of the all-droid story has been done since the interview, mostly in animation. There was the Droids cartoon, of course, but more recently there were a few episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars that were highly droid-centric. They weren’t all-droid, all the time, but they felt like it. "A Sunny Day in the Void" immediately springs to mind (as well as that entire D-Squad arc from Season 5), but it’s Season 3's "Evil Plans" that has to take the jogan fruit cake. Padme sends R2-D2 and C-3PO out to buy fruit for a cake — 3PO gets tortured by Cad Bane while R2 enjoys a droid spa.

If Lucas’ idea for this movie was anything like that episode... well. Mr. Lucas? Kindly un-retire and make it, please.

What we’d wager that it could happen: It won’t happen. Instead, I’ll take the credits that I’d wager and start a fund to personally finance the film and convince George Lucas to do it. Join me!

Rogue One Darth Vader

Star Wars: Shadow of Vader (comic)

Author Chuck Wendig had 3 parts of this comic series scripted before he was fired because of his behavior on Twitter. The Marvel title was shelved altogether soon after that.

This is a shame because all you really needed to tell me was “Vader comic” and “Chuck Wendig.” Both of the Darth Vader series put out by Marvel so far have been superb, but they have both concluded. There is a Vader-comic void in my heart right now, and without a new Vader page-turner, I may lose the will to live.

Also, Wendig has added a huge amount to the new Star Wars lore with his Star Wars: Aftermath novel trilogy, and the idea of him writing a Vader story is too good to pass up — for me, at least. Some were more than willing to let it go.

Our wager that it could come back: It’s dead, which is a real shame. We’ll probably never see this story, but I can still hold out hope that Wendig isn't done with Star Wars for good. Lando has a card up his sleeve this round and we know it, so reluctantly I bet nothing.

Star Wars: 1313 (video game)

When George Lucas was working on bringing live-action Star Wars to television (more on that in a moment), this game was also being worked on, and it covered some of the same material. It would have focused on the dark underbelly of Coruscant’s lower levels, and the player would have taken the form of a mysterious bounty hunter that would wind up being… Boba Fett.

Things got to the point where the game actually got a trailer in 2012 (seen above), but then, as has happened more than once on this list, Disney swooped in like a Kowakian Monkey Lizard and shot this thing in the head. This game, the “1313” trademark, and LucasArts itself were all cut down like Rebels trying to defend against Vader’s crimson lightsaber.

Some of the most fun Star Wars games haven’t been Jedi-heavy — this could’ve been a next-generation take on Star Wars: Bounty Hunter and the digital core of Coruscant (seen in some episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars) would have been a great environment. Again, multiplayer didn’t seem to be on the table here, and again, I wouldn’t be getting shot in the back every other second. A desirable prospect.

Our wager that it could come back: We wouldn’t wager much on 1313 itself coming back, but a bounty hunter/lower depths kind of game, one that possibly uses an open world? I think I’ve mentioned how that kind of game is needed. We’d bet big that some parts of this game could be used for another project some day.

Star Wars: Underworld (TV show)

Speaking of scoundrels in the dark underbelly of the GFFA, we finally get to George Lucas’ infamous (and for a long time, fully expected to happen) live-action television take on Star Wars. From 2005 to the point where Disney took over, this series was underway and was something that Lucas kept saying would have to wait until they had the resources (and technology) to pull it off.

While we waited for the necessary advances in technology to come about (and saw Game of Thrones have dragons fly right through our televisions, incidentally), around 50 episodes of this show were written by genre veterans including Ronald D. Moore. We were never told exactly what the story would be, only that it would once again be in the time period between the prequels and the original trilogy. It would have dealt with crime syndicates, bounty hunters, scum, and, you know it, villainy.

The weird thing here is that this project was never officially chopped — it just kind of went away? Disney didn’t really address it once it took over, and after the sequel trilogy was announced, everyone stopped asking about this show. That means that there are still 50 scripts on a shelf somewhere, and some of them have the names Ronald D. Moore and Star Wars on the same page.

Our wager that it could come back: For all we know, it’s already coming back. There’s every possibility that some ideas for this show have now spun their way into The Mandalorian. If they haven’t, then this show could still be getting ready to go. Once again, I mention Disney+ and how it’s gonna be a hungry Sarlacc when it comes to new televised Star Wars — 50 scripts just sitting there? It would be odd if Disney didn’t do something with them. I’d bet big that something from this lost series will take shape at some point.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic III (video game)

Forget Kylo Ren, Darth Maul, and even Vader — for some Star Wars fans, the credits stop with Revan. The two Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic games represent the best of the saga for this particular fan subset, and there was once a chance that we’d get a third game before LucasArts died.

That isn’t really fair, however — the third game in this franchise fizzled before Disney came in and before LucasArts was dead as a Dooku. Disney decided to focus on other games, and the epic tale of Revan and a lightsaber-wielding character named Naresha was never told. The original game became a highly successful MMO, but there would be no third entry.

The world of Knights of the Old Republic and the legions of Sith, Jedi, and homicidal droids that inhabited it are still represented proudly these days. Look no further than certain cosplay groups and Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes for evidence.

Our wager that it could come back: Here's where the fun begins. We’d go all in and hope for an Idiot’s Array. This part of the saga is incredibly popular, and its fans are swoop-ride or die. The game might not come back, but there are plenty of Star Wars fans that want this era to come to the big screen.

In fact, I’m going to double down and specifically bet that’s the case here. While Rian Johnson has said that his new trilogy is not based on Knights of the Old Republic, there are also new movies coming from Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. My theory is that they were hired to bring Revan and friends to the big screen and that it’s only a matter of time before they let us know. I’m going to go all in on THAT: Benioff, Weiss, and KOTOR on the big screen. Sure, I may be insane... but I may also be sitting on a full sabacc.

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