The unreleased Star Wars series that Disney doesn't want you to see
Seth Green recently made his return to the Star Wars universe by voicing Cad Bane's faithful techno service droid Todo 360 on two episodes of Star Wars: The Bad Batch. But as nice as it was to have Green back, it also couldn't help but make one ponder a question that has plagued Star Wars fans for almost a decade now: What the heck happened to Star Wars Detours?
Star Wars Detours was announced with great fanfare (and a trailer, see below) at Star Wars Celebration VI in 2012. Lucasfilm Animation had partnered with Green and Robot Chicken partner Matt Senreich to create a madcap comedic look at the franchise after Robot Chicken's three successful Star Wars specials from 2007 to 2010. Thirty-nine installments of Detours, roughly six minutes in length each, were completed, with another 62 scripts just waiting to be shot, yet none of them ever made it to air.
That's because a few months after the Detours announcement, Lucasfilm was sold to Disney for $4.05 billion, and the studio shelved Detours to focus all its energy on a new trilogy of films and more serious-minded animated offerings. And, save for one episode being leaked online, the show has never been seen or heard from since.
But now that Disney has unveiled its own streaming service in Disney+ and needs as much content as possible to snag subscribers (just look at their list of approximately 18 billion other Star Wars TV series in development to see what we mean), why wouldn't the streamer at least put the finished Detours episodes out there for the world to enjoy? It's a question we posted to Green himself, asking him when Detours might finally see the light of day.
"The most recent conversations I've had with anybody who would be in a position to say so say that it's not soon," says Green. Okay, but why?
"Well, there are 39 episodes that were finished for broadcast," notes Green. "But we finished them almost 10 years ago, and so there would have to be a bit of reconfiguring of the existing stuff to make it something that Disney+ would release as a Lucasfilm offering. And the way it's been explained to me is that there hasn't been enough interest high enough up to go through what it would take to put it out, and that there isn't an interest in releasing this content on Disney+ from Lucasfilm."
Of course, the internet might disagree. As would fans upon hearing that there is a treasure trove of unreleased Star Wars content just… sitting there. "I just report the facts as I have them," says Green flatly. If Green doesn't seem too perturbed about the fact that all his work on the show has yet to find an audience, it's because he can take comfort and pride in the fact that he got to do the work in the first place.
"I don't really have an emotional position because I got to spend four straight years making something with George Lucas," says Green. "And my partner and I, and all of the people that got to work on it — the artists and actors and directors and animators — we all got to make something Star Wars with the guy who created it. And so I know over those four years that he was having fun, and that's really all I care about. I got a priceless experience with one of my truest heroes, and got to see him laugh and enjoy all of the things that he had created, in a time before he agreed to sell them to somebody else."
That's not to say Green wouldn't love for Detours to see the light of day, but it doesn't take away from the experience he had creating it: "It's not that I don't care if people never see it, it's just that it ultimately doesn't matter if nobody ever sees it, because nobody can take any of that from any of us. And that kind of thing would never happen again, and I recognize that."
Detours also featured a voice cast that reportedly included Star Wars luminaries such as Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, and Ahmed Best as well as other famous folks like Zachary Levi, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Andy Richter, Seth McFarlane, Donald Faison, Felicia Day, and Joel McHale.
"I probably can't confirm or deny [any names]" says Green, "but you literally wouldn't believe the people that worked on this project in all categories."
While the future of Star Wars Detours remains frustratingly unclear, Green feels the force was with them on making the show, even if he can't use an old-fashioned Jedi mind trick to get Disney to finally release it.
"I like to think that we did the assignment well," he says. "It's just whether or not the assignment jibes with the current intent."