All eyes are looking to the future of the Star Wars franchise and, inevitably, it seems like we will be getting a live-action TV series set in this galaxy far, far away. We know that Lucasfilm tried to do such a thing in the past, even before Disney stepped in and purchased the company. As it turns out, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was actually conceived as a TV show at one point.
The idea for Rogue One came from special effects legend John Knoll, and in a recent interview with Comic Book Resources, he revealed that the movie we got ultimately came out of a scrapped pitch for a "Mission Impossible" style TV series. At the time, producer Rick McCallum was working on a live-action Star Wars show and John Knoll thought his idea would maybe fit into his plans. Here is what he had to say about it.
"What about a 'Mission Impossible'-style break-in into the most secure facility in the Empire to steal the Death Star plans? There could be a lot of tension of potentially being discovered and overcoming security measures. That could be a lot of fun! I started tinkering with this idea internally. Then a day or two later, I asked Rick [McCallum], I heard you were developing this TV show. He started telling me about the era that it takes place in, and the themes of the show. As soon as he started going into that, I realized, actually, that idea has no place in that show, so I just dropped it completely."
This was years before Disney and Lucasfilm started working on these standalone Star Wars movies, so John Knoll just sat with the idea for what would become Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. But when Kathleen Kennedy started working on these anthology movies, he got to pitch his idea and, as we all know, that went pretty well. Here is how he explains it.
"So I made the appointment, and I did the pitch to Kathy and Kiri Hart, who's head of story [at Lucasfilm]. At the end, they listened to the whole thing very politely, and at the end, Kathy said, 'All right, well, thank you.' So I got up and left. I didn't hear anything for a little while. I thought, 'All right, well, okay, I did it. I'm not going to wonder.' About a week after, I got an email from Kiri: 'We talked about this a lot, and we may want to do something with this.' Then it snowballed into this."
Lucasfilm will probably venture into live-action TV shows in the Star Wars universe at some point, but it is for the best that Rogue One wound up getting made as a movie. Not only did fans and critics really love it, but it also wound up making bank at the box office, grossing $1.05 billion worldwide. For a movie that largely focuses on unknown characters in the Star Wars universe, that is pretty impressive. It also helped pave the way for other Star Wars standalone movies, like the upcoming Han Solo movie and the possible Boba Fett bounty hunter movie. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is now available on DVD/Blu-ray and VOD.