What Happened to Star Wars Detours? The Scrapped Series Explained - VRGyani News and Media


Friday, August 13, 2021

What Happened to Star Wars Detours? The Scrapped Series Explained

When the animated comedy series Star Wars Detours was announced at Star Wars Celebration in 2012, it came a mere months before the future of the franchise shifted course forever through the Disney acquisition. At the time, the saga’s future rested on the animated series The Clone Wars, as the prospects of a proposed live-action series seemed far away and the 3D re-release of The Phantom Menace had bombed in theaters. The idea of not one, but two concurrent shows set within the galaxy far, far away was inherently exciting, but a far cry away from the massive wave of Star Wars content coming within the next few years.

Star Wars Detours was an animated CGI comedy series set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope from Robot Chicken creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich. George Lucas had been impressed by the duo’s Star Wars-related sketches and approved the creation of three Star Wars dedicated Robot Chicken specials, even lending his voice to one of the more popular sketches. Detours was targeted at a much younger crowd than the raunchy Robot Chicken specials, and was set to explore the daily lives of iconic characters. It featured a voice cast of frequent Robot Chicken collaborators such as Seth McFarlane, Zachary Levi, and Donald Faison, as well as Star Wars veterans including Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams, Ahmed Best, and Dee Bradley Baker.

RELATED: Trailer and Clips for STAR WARS: DETOURS; New Kid-Friendly Animated Series from the Creators of ROBOT CHICKEN

39 episodes of Detours were produced with 62 additional scripts written, but the series was officially put on hold in early 2013, as Lucasfilm chose to focus on marketing The Force Awakens and other upcoming projects, deciding a comedic approach wasn’t the best way to introduce new viewers to the franchise. Despite recent rumors that it would be released on Disney+, the series has remained locked in the vault ever since. Green stated earlier this year that “there isn't an interest in releasing this content on Disney+ from Lucasfilm."

Outside of the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special, Detours is the holy grail of unreleased Star Wars content. It’s a window into an alternate future for a franchise dedicated to pleasing a narrower fanbase with in-joke specific material, produced when Star Wars discourse wasn’t at the center of culture (and thus not quite as exhausting). It’s also fascinating as the last official Star Wars project from Lucas himself; while he’s been lionized by a certain segment of fans in the wake of Disney’s Star Wars projects, Lucas seemed to enjoy laughing at himself. Detours would’ve found Lucas mocking his relationship with the franchise, as he appeared in a clip breaking the fourth wall to refer to Detours as “The Holiday Special all over again.”

The short trailer released at Celebration teased the stylized versions of the saga’s characters that lead relatively dull everyday lives: Darth Vader puts together cheap promotional videos for the Death Star, Princess Leia is a self-obsessed spoiled child, Obi-Wan uses mind tricks within his burgeoning career as a standup comedian, and various characters hang out at Dexter’s Diner (including Admiral Ackbar, who can’t stop rhyming things with “It’s a trap!”). These in-jokes seemed reserved for hardcore obsessives who love the property enough to watch anything with the brand on it. While The Clone Wars was attracting a new generation of fans with characters like Ahsoka Tano, the second animated show didn’t have the expectation of growing a new audience. It was an extended spoof for those that already loved it.

Without the expectations of a $4 billion investment or years of mapped-out connected storylines, Lucasfilm could take the comedic approach that seemed to be working with Robot Chicken and turn it into a flagship series. The franchise wasn’t demanding to be taken seriously (because there was little new Star Wars out there), and Detours didn’t bear the expectation of retaining the franchise identity and building anticipation for the next phase of content. Ironically, Green’s recent comments indicate that given the sheer number of Star Wars programming now available, “there hasn't been enough interest high enough up to go through what it would take to put it out.” One more Star Wars series is now less of a novelty.

There doesn’t seem to be a contemporary fear of targeting younger viewers with children’s content like the LEGO Star Wars specials, and Disney+ has steadily added in older content from Lucasfilm’s archives, including the Droids and Ewoks ‘80s cartoons, the Ewok television movies, and even a segment of The Star Wars Holiday Special. It’s interesting that given the sheer number of Star Wars offshoots now available, Detours has remained locked away, which may be because so few people seem to know it even exists. It’s unfortunate that it's been shelved because Green indicated that there was real passion from the creative team.

Ironically, Detours may have faded from memory had it been released back in 2013, as interest was likely low outside the passionate fanbase for a niche sketch series when new films weren’t being produced. Debuting it now would raise more interesting questions. How would a standalone comedy series fit within Disney’s tight management of Lucasfilm, and how would audiences react to the zany approach?

When a single episode was leaked earlier this year, it didn’t generate the groundswell of support that something like the leaked Deadpool test footage did. Even if few clamor for its release, officially releasing Detours would be an interesting thought experiment. Certain Star Wars fans can take the saga’s canon too seriously. Perhaps if the last Star Wars project from Lucas himself demanded them not to, it would put everything in perspective.

KEEP READING: Seth Green Offers Updates on 'Star Wars: Detours', 'SuperMansion' & 'Crossing Swords'

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