/Film: “The Royal Handmaidens of Naboo Represent a Fascinating Opportunity for a New ‘Star Wars’ TV Series”

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From /Film:

“[…] Ostensibly a democratic monarchy — which first of all, no — Naboo is run by an elected King or Queen. Or is it run by the Naboo Governor? Or is it run by the Royal Advisory Council? Or is it run by the noble families, collectively known as the Royal Houses of Naboo? As of this writing, the whole thing is still very opaque, and while I for one would welcome a political drama about the push/pull between government officials with no term limits and the ever-revolving door of pre-teen monarchs, such a thing would need an easily accessible group of heroes. Luckily, Naboo has just such a group: the Royal Handmaidens of Naboo.

Who Are They?

The right-hand women of the Queen (or I guess King) of Naboo. The Royal Handmaidens perform a myriad of duties from traditional ladies’ maid fare, such as tending to the clothing and personal hygiene of the monarch, to more vigorous activities like physically protecting the Queen, even to the point of death. Handpicked (though by whom it is not said) for their talents and physical resemblance to the current monarch, the Handmaids receive training in both court niceties and hand-to-hand combat. They must learn the intricacies of international politics in order to step into the Queen’s shoes — literally — in order to play the decoy in times of turmoil. They learn marksmanship and manners, and are just as deadly as they are young.

At any point in time, the Queen is served by at least five Handmaids ready to lay down their lives or fetch some snacks. Even after a monarch retires from their public duties, it appears at least two Handmaids are dispatched to protect them for life, similar to Secret Service members of America’s political system. This seemed especially prudent for former Queen Amidala when she became a Galactic Senator, as she was a prime target for assassination. […]

What Stories Could Lucasfilm Tell?

Listen, the Royal Handmaidens of Naboo is a perfectly wrapped gift for Lucasfilm. It has every element necessary for an in-depth Young Adult adaptation, be it on television or in novel form. Tell us about the school for Handmaidens. How do they live? How long and grueling are their hours? How are they selected? Only the best and brightest would be eligible but would parents see it as an honor or a horror to have their daughters picked for what might be a deadly position?

Does the Queen have any input over her own bodyguards or are they selected by committee prior to her ascension? Does each region of Naboo send in potential applicants or does the government send out a council to go throughout the country on their search? Is elevation to Handmaiden seen as a lifelong social climb or a temporary measure that chews up and spits out generation after generation of talented young women? All of these are the backbone of a YA drama similar to anything done by Harry Potter or The Hunger Games.

In a democratic monarchy (still no), what political alliances exist? Would the girls come into their new positions as agents of their families? Would ruthless nobles push their daughters forward in the hopes of bending the ear of the new Queen? Or is the actual monarch so interchangeable that they would rather their Handmaiden daughters charm the Governor and the Advisory Council? Would Handmaidens selected from the populace face social stigma amongst the more elite members of the household or is Naboo beyond such class snobbery? Since in public the Queen’s face is always painted white, shouldn’t bone structure matter more than skin color? What happens if the Handmaidens fall in love — with either someone outside their coterie or one of their own order? Exactly how bound to service are they? Can they quit to live out their lives or is service mandatory regardless of personal wishes?

Do families start guessing who will be elected to the position of Queen and train their daughters from a young age to increase their chances of being selected? Do they train their sons on the off-chance that Naboo will once again elect a King instead of a Queen? How much jockeying goes on behind-the-scenes? For that matter, who exactly gets to vote in Naboo elections? Is it a full democracy or one of the more historically accurate “men who own land are the only true citizens” kind? Because the former adds more wild cards while the latter would allow for the noble houses to essential rig the elections in favor of the candidate they prefer.

All of this creates a bubbling stew of political intrigue and teenage hormones, easy money just sitting on the table should Lucasfilm decide to take it. Give us a Royal Handmaiden finishing school series, Disney. Do it.”

 

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Jon Favreau to executive produce and write live-action Star Wars series

From StarWars.com:

“Lucasfilm is excited to announce that Emmy-nominated producer and actor Jon Favreau has signed on to executive produce and write a live-action Star Wars series for Disney’s new direct-to-consumer platform. Favreau is no stranger to the Star Wars galaxy having played roles in both the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series and in the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story.

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“I couldn’t be more excited about Jon coming on board to produce and write for the new direct-to-consumer platform,” says Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “Jon brings the perfect mix of producing and writing talent, combined with a fluency in the Star Wars universe. This series will allow Jon the chance to work with a diverse group of writers and directors and give Lucasfilm the opportunity to build a robust talent base.”

Favreau is thrilled to be returning to the Star Wars galaxy: “If you told me at 11 years old that I would be getting to tell stories in the Star Wars universe, I wouldn’t have believed you. I can’t wait to embark upon this exciting adventure.”

Disney’s collaborations with Favreau extend back a decade, when he helped launch the Marvel Cinematic Universe as director of Iron Man and Iron Man 2 and as an executive producer of the Iron Man and Avengers films for Marvel Studios. For Disney, he directed and produced the massively successful The Jungle Book, which won an Academy Award for its groundbreaking visual effects. He is currently in production on Disney’s highly anticipated reimagining of The Lion King, set for release in 2019.

The untitled Star Wars live-action series does not yet have a release date.”

Disney is developing “a few” Star Wars TV series for its streaming service

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From The Hollywood Reporter:

“Fresh off of news that Game of Thrones creators/showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss would be creating a new trilogy of Star Wars feature films, Disney CEO Bob Iger told investors Tuesday that the company is developing more than one Star Wars TV series.

“We are developing not just one, but a few Star Wars series specifically for the Disney direct to consumer app. We’ve mentioned that and we are close to being able to reveal at least one of the interties that is developing that for us. Because the deal isn’t completely closed, we can’t be specific about that,” he said during an earnings call Tuesday. “I think you’ll find the level of talent … on the television front will be rather significant as well.”

Iger first announced that Disney was developing a live-action Star Wars TV series in November when he revealed that the company’s forthcoming direct-to-consumer digital platform would also feature a Monsters, Inc. and High School Musical series. It’s unclear if the other Star Wars TV series for the Disney digital platform will also be live-action.

The as-yet-untitled Disney digital platform will target families and launch in late 2019, the company said Tuesday. To prepare for the as-yet-unnamed platform, Disney has pulled its Marvel features from rival Netflix. […]”

George Lucas decided the Stormtroopers weren’t clones during the development of the live-action TV series

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From StarWars.com:

“[…] Now, veteran writers Ryder Windham and Adam Bray take us all-troopers all-the-time with Stormtroopers: Beyond the Armor.

Released last October, this in-depth guide, produced by becker&mayer! and published by Harper Design, traces the real world history of each iteration of stormtrooper and clone trooper (and many of their related military personnel and equipment) from concept to filming costume to in-universe background and beyond. […]

StarWars.com: By documenting the total story of troopers as a story element in the saga, and as an icon of Star Wars in our world, you also are giving a history of Star Wars moviemaking, merchandising, and cultural impact, from the original trilogy through the prequels, TV series, and into the Disney era with the sequels and standalones. What in this overall history really stands out for you? What cool tidbits of information really amazed you?

Adam Bray: I was surprised how much influence Hasbro has had on recent Star Wars animation, from initiating Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars series, to the classic Kenner action figures as inspiration for the character designs in Star Wars Rebels. I was also fascinated how George Lucas’ ideas about who stormtroopers were actually changed over time. It wasn’t until he began conceptualizing a Star Wars TV show that Lucas decided the stormtroopers would be normal humans rather than clones.

George Lucas’ artistic choices about how to portray the militaries of the Republic and Empire were also fascinating. The diversity in personalities within the clone army versus the uniformity of troopers and officers within the Empire (despite no longer being clones) is quite a contrast. The Republic valued diversity, and so the clones were allowed freedom of personal expression. The Empire, on the other hand, was a repressive regime that demanded order through conformity, or sameness. […]”


Reminder from Wookieepedia:

“Star Wars: Underworld is the working title of a proposed live-action television series that would be set during the timespan between the films Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. George Lucas first announced the series at 2005’s Celebration III. Over the next few years, a variety of writers were hired, over fifty scripts were written and art designers worked on visualizing Lucas’ ideas. However, in 2010, Lucas announced that the series was on hold due to budget constraints. […]”