Let’s just put it out there -- Disney owns the world. There are few properties they don’t own at this point, including DC (the comics, not Washington, but who knows?) and… Wendy’s? Either way, Disney has their mousey paws on Marvel, which of late, with its head start in the movie biz, is crushing the DC competition (I don’t know about Wendy’s). It doesn’t just stop with movies, though. Marvel is killing it on the TV front and it’s evident by how they broke the Internet harder than any part of Kim Kardashian’s butt could (including the whole thing), or a Kanye West “SNL” concert. So, what about that other property Disney owns? A little franchise you may have heard of called Star Wars? We’ll get into that in a minute, though.
First off, in 2003, a popular video game series was birthed from the Star Wars universe called Knights of the Old Republic. The MMO offered players (assuming you’re a PC gamer) the opportunity to make their own Sith or Jedi, but you could play both sides and unofficially be a Gray Jedi. The main thing to take away from the series, however, is that it all takes place a long time before the events of the film series. It lived in a lot of the expanded universe lore and even added to it. Its devoted fan base lost their minds last year when a brand new installment hit shelves:
Following that came another expansion pack with a new, debatably better storyline:
This all should establish that KOTOR is just darn good, but with its old fanbase accompanied by its new growing fanbase -- due in large part to the new film trilogy -- a lot of fans online are petitioning for a Netflix series. At first it sounded kind of weird to me. Why Netflix? But then when you think about how Disney has already cut deals through Marvel to Netflix to make some gritty, adult-oriented superhero dramas, why not something more adult for Star Wars on the same platform? “Luke Cage” already proved with its release, which shut down Netflix servers, that people want more adult content for childhood properties, especially since the expanded universe of Star Wars is much darker.
The pros are even blatant with KOTOR having a fanbase already. I mean, fans are literally asking for it. The game also has been going on for over a decade, and while it is mainly an RPG, it does have a story; players just get to pick what they want to do. Being that KOTOR takes place back before even Yoda was born, anything that happens in it continuity-wise would also not effect any upcoming films, past, present, or future. Finally (this is a big one for the nerds) the Old Republic would become canon.
Making the Old Republic canon would be a big win for Disney and the Star Wars franchise. Virtually none of the expanded universe stuff has come from George Lucas, who over the years has fallen out of grace with a lot of his fans. The expanded universe is something that seems to have been made by fans and was canon for a time until Disney bought the rights. Not much from the expanded universe worked along with Disney’s Star Wars updates, so it’s virtually been all scrapped. These are details that some fans have been absorbing for over 30 years, and then it’s suddenly reduced to puffed up fanfiction. Making anything a lot of fans love canon would really Disney get these hardcore Star Wars back into their good graces.
The cons are that maybe some people don’t want to see a KOTOR show. It might ruin the experience of the video game for them, and historically RPG video games have been hard to get right on screen. That’s all well and fair, but out of all of this, something is prevalent -- people want an adult Star Wars show, like what Marvel is doing to the side of their movies. Fan service in the past hasn’t always worked out but something like this has been rumored since before Netflix or Lucas sold the property to Disney, and still not much has come out of the woodwork. Nobody is saying these things have to be R-rated or anything, but something for half of the fanbase would be nice. Many people grew up with this franchise and keeping things like The Force Awakens for kids and adults is fine, but at some point you’re going to have to give the adults some play time too. The Terminator franchise tells you what’s going to happen to the future in the first five minutes of the first movie, and we still have not really seen that. If enough people want this kind of show for Star Wars,then it’s probably about time to give it. And if it fails, well, it can’t fail as hard as Kevin Spacey as a talking cat.
If this does happen, that’s all great for fans, but could Disney do this? My answer would be yes. Although I don’t watch it a whole lot, I have seen some of “Star Wars: Rebels”, and I’ve been impressed. One of my favorite pastimes when I’m bored is watching nerds rant on YouTube videos about the successes and, usually, fails from different kinds of fandom, and Star Wars always comes up. These people are harshly critical beings, and when the new Ghostbusters was coming out, they were some of “those guys” who were trashing it before they even saw it. And yet I can’t think of a single one that has said anything bad about “Rebels”, and the way they talk about it, you’d swear it’s darker than any Star Wars movie that has come out… and this is a cartoon. The “Clone Wars” animated series had a similar thing going on, and it seems like if Disney does make a KOTOR Netflix show, they’ve got a good staff of writers to hire for it.
The people are asking for it and the ball is the House of Mouse to make a move. Will they do it? I have no idea, but I can tell you that even if Disney does develop this, don’t believe a single one of those posters floating around the internet claiming a Fall 2017 release. Even if Disney started making it this summer, there is no way in any galaxy the entire show would be ready for binge-watching on Netflix by then.