TV That’ll Never Air – Star Wars Detours

Star Wars is a franchise with rabidly loyal fan base and, thanks to parodies on Family Guy and Robot Chicken, has proven that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. So surely a CGI comedy show set within that famous galaxy far, far, away would be a winner? Especially if it was writen and produdced by the Robot Chicken team? And featured many stars of the original movies returing to voice their characters?

You would be wrong. Well… LucasFilm thought so at least. Star Wars Detours was originally announced in the summer 2012 to be light hearted CGI comedy sketch show and fans were very excited. A trailer was released, albeit never officially, which you can see below. The cute character design and fun takes show that this was a show with promise. 39 full 15 minute episodes were produced and a further 62 episodes were fully scripted.

Voice actors that were involved in the show included Dee Bradley Baker, Abraham Benrubi, Ahmed Best returning as Jar Jar Binks (so the show couldn’t have been all good), Anthony Daniels as C-3PO (who else?), Felicia Day, Donald Faison, Nat Faxon, Seth Green as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jennifer Hale, Zachary Levi, Joel McHale, Breckin Meyer, Dan Milano, Cree Summer, Catherine Taber as Princess Leia, Billy Dee Williams reprising his role as Lando Calrissian, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Grey DeLisle, and Seth MacFarlane as Palpatine. Dan Milano, Tom Root, Zeb Wells, Doug Goldstein, Breckin Meyer, Kevin Shinick, David A. Goodman, Michael Price, and Jane Espenson were amongst the writers with Brendan Hay serving as head writer.

On paper this show had it all and should have been a massive hit. Then in October 2012 something happened that would forever change the fate of Star Wars. Disney bought Lucasfilm and with it Star Wars. The immediate good news of this? New, actually good, Star Wars films made it in to production. Work on Episode VII began almost immediately. However… The Mouse was not happy with all the new arrivals in his house.

In March 2013 it was quietly announced that production had stopped on Detours as The Mouse did not feel that a light comedy show was in the best interest of The Star Wars franchise going forward. They felt, for whatever reason, that it might actually hurt the upcoming sequels.

One thing I wonder here is what would have happened if Family Guy approached LucasArts after the Disney take over? Family Guy produced parodies of Episodes IV,V, and VI which are considered classics by Star Wars and Family Guy fans. And I’d argue they actually helped rather than hurt the Star Wars brand. I’ve a feeling that if these were proposed after The Mouse controlled The Force they’d have never been made.

Whilst we can, mostly, agree that Disney has been pretty good for Star Wars, with The Star Wars Rebels TV show, and Rogue One being the best Star Wars film since Empire (sorry Return of the Jedi), we can’t help but wonder why they let this show drop off the radar.

An eventual release has been mooted for a few years now, perhaps even a straight to DVD one, but I think we can safely say it’s not going happen. All we can do is wonder…