Detours, the humor series from Lucasfilm Animation and Robot Chicken creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich, could be released this coming spring, Jedi News says.
The show was in the works as early as 2010, but it was shelved following the Disney sale. Before that, a trailer and clips emerged from the last Celebration, to mostly mixed reviews.
Green said back in 2013 that 39 episodes were produced, with an additional 62 finished scripts. And certainly stranger things have happened – but if Disney is indeed building a digital Star Wars library, it certainly makes sense to include it.
In a Reddit AMA the other day, Seth Green talked a bit about Detours being held back, and why the show sitting on the shelf might not be a huge deal in the end:
So there’s actually been quite a bit of talk about this, but Detours is just on hold currently. We have 39 finished episodes and around 62 finished scripts. But that entire show was created before the decision to make more Star Wars movies, so our show (which was created by George Lucas) is an animated sitcom in the world of Star Wars, so we had a lot of conversations with Kathleen Kennedy about Star Wars in not just the next 3 years but the next 30 years, and when you’re in as privileged a position as we were to be able to work on Star Wars content with its creator, you get a great sense of responsibility to the whole. I was introduced to Star Wars as a child and it was without any ironic or comedic lens, so I saw Darth Vader as scary, and I saw all of those messages very very clearly. We didn’t think it made any sense, in anticipation of these new movies coming out, to spend the next 3 years with an animated sitcom as 3 generations’ of kids first introduction to the Star Wars universe.
I’ve had a lot of parents approach me in the last few years where they showed Robot Chicken or Family Guy Star Wars before they showed them regular Star Wars. The writers on Robot Chicken and I are seeing this a lot. The same way we were introduced to classic music through Bugs Bunny or Tom & Jerry, kids are taking our ironic interpretations of He-Man or other pop culture icons and never having the opportunity to meet them sincerely. It’s a really bizarre thing to wrap your head around, and because I’ve witnessed it firsthand, it made me more thoughtful about what we were putting it out.
I do feel that Detours is a timeless bit of entertainment. Media distribution is changing so quickly, so dramatically, that can you even imagine what distribution of content will look like in 5 years? In a day and age when Netflix series are nominated for the top accolades TV has to offer, what is to say what it will look like when the new Star Wars movie comes out? So Detours can sit on a shelf until the Star Wars movie comes out without losing any of its lustre, because what we’ve created is very funny, very smart and like I said before, timeless.
Once again, you have to keep in mind that Star Wars itself is also in a big period of flux right now, and that the vision of the franchise when Detours was conceived is not the one that’s playing out now. Patience isn’t just for Jedi: Fans have to calm their grabby hands as well.
Monday’s announcement that Lucasfilm was taking its animation division in a new direction, focusing on exploring a new series while bringing a graceful end for Star Wars: The Clone Wars and a hard stop for Detours, brought out a lot of mixed feelings from fans. Many, like Stooge and me, were sad and angry to see The Clone Wars get shut down at its peak. I’ve rounded up reactions from the voice cast of the show, as well as from bloggers and entertainment reporters.
Yesterday’s announcement that Lucasfilm Animation will be wrapping up The Clone Wars with some bonus content but not a full sixth season, while preparing for a new series was not a big surprise, but it was still a sad piece of news for me and other fans of the show.
StarWars.com has confirmed yesterday’s report, more or less. Lucasfilm Animation is going to “pursue a new direction in animated programming.” This is intriguing:
We are exploring a whole new Star Wars series set in a time period previously untouched in Star Wars films or television programming. You can expect more details in the months to come.
As for The Clone Wars, they’re going to “wind down the series,” and continue production on “new Clone Wars story arcs.” So sounds like we haven’t seen the last of the series, even as it’s ending.
Looking at the announcement closely, they don’t call the “wind down” season six, but instead call it “bonus content” which means that probably we may not see the entire season’s worth of episodes, but simply several story arcs that are either the best material or the ones already furthest in the pipeline.
In the announcement, there’s a video with Dave Filoni discussing the future of the show, saying “the best is yet to come”, and brings out a long video clip of an upcoming story arc that focuses on clone programming, Order 66, and the return of the spidery Admiral Trench.
As for Detours:
Detours was conceived and produced before we decided to move forward with the new Star Wars trilogy, and in the wake of that decision, Lucasfilm has reconsidered whether launching an animated comedy prior to the launch of Episode VII makes sense. As a result, we’ve decided to postpone the release of Detours until a later date.
Well, not going to cry over that one, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see whatever’s been completed pop up as specials somewhere.
I didn’t go to any panels this afternoon, but that’s not to say it was uneventful. I went back to the con floor intermittently, but perhaps the highlight was sitting down with fellow Jader Nancy Lutz to talk Club Jade and fandom with SiriusXM’s Dave Ziemer. And it was only yesterday that I did my first podcast… Celebration is truly a con of wonders!
Entertainment Weekly caught up with Rick McCallum at last night’s Red Tails premiere to follow up on the IGN interview. McCallum confirmed that ‘Underworld’ is indeed the show’s working title (read: not likely to make the final cut,) and reiterated the show’s theme of “smugglers, gangsters, bounty hunters, and a few Wall Street-type power brokers.”
More revealing was his talk of the technological factors, and how it’s likely even further off than the “three or four years” he said back in June.
When I asked McCallum if the show is still three or four years off, he said, “Even longer. Because I think we don’t have the technology yet to be able to do it for the level of money that it would have to be done. Plus, the world of television is imploding. No one knows whether you should make a network show or a cable show. I’m really excited about it though, and I hope George does do it. I really do.”
As for Seth Green’s comedy show:
Closer on the horizon is Seth Green’s Star Wars comedy series. “That’s coming along great,” McCallum says. “I’ve seen a few of their little skits. They’re great.”
‘Skits’ is quite revealing, implying that the show’s format may indeed resemble the Robot Chicken specials. McCallum said we may see that one as soon as 2013.
Howard Roffman, speaking at a European licensing conference, says that we’ll be seeing the Seth Green comedy project (which may or may not be named Star Wars: Detours) “within the next two years.” From a press released found by Jedi News:
[Roffman] said that Lucas has always found Star Wars parodies extremely funny, citing a brutally frank French & Saunders parody as an example, and is thrilled to be exploring opportunities in a new area of the brand.
It’s not much – or anything all that surprising – but things have been quiet on the comedy front lately. (Yes, of course George has a sense of humor.)
Coming soon spotted a LEGO Star Wars poster at at the Licensing International Expo that promises a TV special for Fall 2011. They also mention “a second animated series” with “a completely new and fun direction” that could be either this or the Seth Green comedy show. I don’t even know anymore.