A proposed live-action Star Wars TV show first reported back in 2012 (opens in new tab) isn't happening any time soon. The early ideas for Star Wars: Underworld hailed from George Lucas who planned to make it as a live-action series exploring the shady happenings on Coruscant. Perhaps the shadiest thing of all is how it was going to depict the most evil guy in the galaxy.
According to Cory Barlog, who worked with Lucasarts developing the also-axed Star Wars: 1313 game, Underworld would have starred a "sympathetic" Emperor Palpatine. Let that sink in for a second before you read the whole excerpt from his interview with Venturebeat (opens in new tab):
"Probably the really small beginnings of this idea, the germination of this — when I was working at Lucas, I was allowed to go up to the ranch and read the scripts for the [canceled live-action Star Wars] TV show. It was the most mind-blowing thing I’d ever experienced. I cared about the Emperor. They made the Emperor a sympathetic figure who was wronged by this fucking heartless woman. She’s this hardcore gangster, and she just totally destroyed him as a person. I almost cried while reading this. This is the Emperor, the lightning out of the fingers Emperor. That’s something magical. The writers who worked on that, guys from The Shield and 24, these were excellent writers."
Hearing that Coruscant's criminal underworld is populated by figures so evil that they make Palpatine someone to root for? Barlog's not wrong; sounds like they had some skilled writers attached to the show. Whether we'll ever get to see this story thread in the future is uncertain.
Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy did say last year (opens in new tab) that the studio hadn't forgotten its core concept and hoped to develop it further down the line, along with the plans for 1313. A villainous anthology movie, perhaps?
Images: Lucasfilm, Disney