George Lucas's canceled Star Wars: Underworld TV series has had footage leak online. Hardcore Star Wars fans have wondered for a long time what the show was going to look like and now we finally have a pretty solid idea. Technically, the video shown below is test footage for the abandoned series, along with a look behind-the-scenes included. The long-talked about series was first developed in 2005 and then put on hold in 2010 due to finance concerns.
Underworld takes place between the Star Wars prequel and original trilogies, which would show how the Empire came to power. Fifty scripts were prepared and there were plans for 100 episodes, each consisting of 42 minutes. The newly leaked footage takes place on Coruscant as a Rebel spy attempts to steal Imperial plans for what is believed to be a Star Destroyer. The seedy streets of Coruscant are being heavily monitored by Stormtroopers. You can read the footage description below.
"The series was set after the events of Order 66. The video game 1313 was to be a tie-in of this series. Due to the immense cost of shooting the series, as well as the selling of Lucasfilm to Disney, Underworld was delayed and eventually cancelled... This footage was produced by Stargate Studios (whose VFX resume includes Doctor Who, The Walking Dead, The Orville) in partnership with Lucasfilm. The VFX technology displayed in the making-of portion is Stargate Studios' impressive real-time rendering Virtual Backlot Live technology."
According to the footage source, "A two-part episode would have involved Darth Vader descending into the lower levels of Coruscant to personally quell a rebellion." This would have been a pretty big deal had it come to light. The behind-the-scenes footage shows just how much work and effort went into making just the test footage and one can easily see why it never got off the ground. George Lucas had this to say about Star Wars: Underworld in 2011.
"It sits on the shelf. We have 50 hours. We are trying to figure out a different way of making movies. We are looking for a different technology that we can use, that will make it economically feasible to shoot the show. Right now, it looks like the Star Wars features. But we have to figure out how to make it at about a tenth of the cost of the features, because it's television. We are working toward that, and we continue to work towards that.
We will get there at some point. It's just a very difficult process. Obviously, when we do figure this problem out, it will dramatically affect features, because feature films are costing between $250 to $350 million. When we figure this out, they will be able to make a feature film for $50 million."
With so much footage reportedly around, it's surprising that we haven't seen more of Star Wars: Underworld. With that being said, we have seen some of the stories from the series on the big screen since it was shelved. Rogue One and the Rebels securing Death Star plans and Han Solo winning the Millennium Falcon in Solo, were originally all stories that were going to be told in Underworld. Back in 2005, this probably could not have happened at the incredibly high bar that George Lucas had set.
The Mandalorian is now the first-ever live-action Star Wars series and it is immensely popular. Showrunner Jon Favreau, along with franchise wizard Dave Filoni, have gone back to what George Lucas was inspired by to make the show and one would not be surprised to see if they take some elements from Star Wars: Underworld and add them to their show, at least as an Easter Egg. You can check out the long-awaited first Underworld footage below, thanks to the Holonet YouTube channel.