Emmy-nominated producer, director, writer and actor extraordinaire Jon Favreau has signed on with Lucasfilm to executive produce and write a live-action “Star Wars” series for Disney’s soon to come streaming service. Although there have been other announcements for talent producing future Star Wars movies, Favreau is the first producer announced by Lucasfilm to be attached to a television show, which is an exciting development as a fan of Star Wars TV.
Favreau is undoubtedly one of this generation’s most under-appreciated talents. He’s responsible for kicking off the now ultra-successful Marvel Cinematic Universe as the producer and director of the first Iron Man movie. He made the delightful, and mouthwatering indy film, “Chef,” in 2014, the Christmas classic “Elf,” and 2016’s Oscar winning live-action “Jungle Book” for Disney. For those of us who are really old, you’ll also know him from 1996’s “Swingers.” Favreau is now at work on a live-action adaptation of “Lion King” for the Mouse House.
No stranger to the Star Wars universe, Favreau voiced the “Clone Wars” character Pre Vilzla, a bad ass Mandalorian warrior who was known for wielding the legendary “Darksaber,” a unique black-bladed lightsaber. He became the ruler of the Madalorian people (the same society that Boba Fett came from who all where awesome armor), but lost a duel to Darth Maul and in the process his head.
Favreau is also playing a character in this year’s upcoming “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” His character, Rio Durant, looks like a space monkey with an extra set of arms. It seems like Favreau may have just provided the voice for the character, but that’s still unclear. He may have also done motion capture work as well. With Lucasfilm’s notorious secrecy, and the many, many changes that happened on the Solo film, we won’t know the specifics of his performance until after the movie is released this May.
As a Star Wars fan, this is exciting news! This week was a sad one in the Star Wars universe, with the end of the Star Wars: Rebels TV series, it left us with just this summer’s “Solo,” and next year’s “Episode IX” as the next Star Wars to satiate my appetite. I’ve long been a fan of Star Wars on the “small screen.” Star Wars is a universe that is so rich, so deep that it’s perfectly set up for multi-season TV series.
The two TV series Star Wars has seen so far, “Clone Wars and Rebels,” have been able to use both new and established characters to take deep dives of the galaxy, lore and the Force that Star Wars fans had never seen before. They’ve given us some of the best stories and the best characters in all of Star Wars. Period. I’m incredibly excited to see what a fresh, creative mind like Jon Favreau can bring to the galaxy far, far away.
What will be interesting about Favreau’s Star Wars show will be the live-action element. Every Star Wars TV show so far has been animation. It’s cheaper to do dramatic space battles, large set pieces, and to bring in big name characters when it’s animated. Favreau’s experience bringing animated classics to the big screen as “live action” films for Disney means he is uniquely skilled to tell a story in the Star Wars universe. I’m interested to see how he mixes the big action and set pieces of the movies, with what we’ve seen in the cartoons.
He can tell a story about Star Wars gamblers and scoundrels, or bounty hunters and gangsters, even just average Stormtroopers or Rebels and it could be a fascinating series. There’s so much to explore. What I mentioned is just the tip of the iceberg. Favreau just needs to sit down with Dave Filoni, Pablo Hidalgo, or Simon Kinberg and he’ll have Holocrons worth of ideas that he can explore in his series.
Jon Favreau’s “Star Wars” streaming TV series is going to be to great, of that I’m sure. We may have to wait a while to see it though. “Lion King” doesn’t come out until next summer, so the earliest he can start on this Star Wars show will be after that. My bet is we won’t get any Star Wars from him until late 2020 at the very earliest. You can bet I’ll be waiting with baited breath.