By Darren Franich
Updated June 13, 2011 at 07:05 PM EDT
Credit: © & TM Lucasfilm, Ltd.

First announced in 2005, the still-untitled Star Wars live-action TV series has remained eternally on the distant horizon, twinkling in the darkness of pre-production like a green light on the far end of a misty lake. Roughly once a year, some delicious tidbit of information will emerge about the project — the series will run for 100 episodes, it will be “Deadwood meets The Sopranos in space,” there are 50 episodes of the series already in the can, etc. — but producer Rick McCallum just gave an interview to Czech news organization Czech Position that offers a veritable smorgasbord of information about the show. McCallum explains that LucasFilm currently has “50 hours of third-draft scripts,” which has to be some sort of record for a TV series that hasn’t even gone into production yet. Plotwise, he describes it thusly: “Basically, it is like The Godfather; it’s the Empire slowly building up its power base around the galaxy … and it’s [about] a group of underground bosses who live [on Coruscant] and control drugs, prostitution.”

Drugs and prostitution in Star Wars? I’m getting awesome flashbacks to Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina, and if you know what that is, then please marry me.

But there’s a twist. McCallum says that, due to the massive amount of digital animation involved in making the series, it won’t go into production for a long, long time: “We are going to wait three or four years.” Now, Star Wars fans are used to waiting a long, long time — there were nearly two decades between Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace. But by the time The Phantom Menace emerged in 1999, the original Star Wars trilogy had risen to truly mythic stature, with a whole new generation of fans reading the extended universe Star Wars books and playing games like Dark Forces and TIE Fighter. Now, in the wake of the disappointing prequel series, Star Wars is in a slightly more complicated place — and, with the entire six-part film series slated for a 3-D re-release, we’re staring down the barrel of more fandom debate about the franchise’s current status.

That’s why the live-action series initially seemed so alluring: with the promise to focus on the darker nooks of the Star Wars universe, it seemed like a return to adult storytelling for the franchise. Now it looks like the live-action series is further away than ever. Star Wars fans, do you like what you’ve heard about the proposed series? What’s on your wish-list? Can’t they just do a series about the criminal career of Jabba the Hutt, Gaar Suppoon-style?

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

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