Are you perhaps being struck by an "Oh yeah, I remember this," moment? That's how I felt when I stumbled across the Star Was Detours trailer a few weeks back. Can't remember what it was? Well, let me refresh your memory.
In August of 2012, at Star Wars Celebration VI in Orlando, Florida, Robot Chicken creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich gave Star Wars fans their first look at Star Wars Detours, a CGI animated comedy show set in the Star Wars universe (though definitely not canon). The nearly four-minute trailer offered fans a look into the shows animation and style. Detours presented fans with comedic takes on Star Wars heroes and villains, similar to what they had previously seen in the enormously popular Robot Chicken Star Wars specials. This included a bumbling and awkward Darth Vader, a cocky, big-mouthed Boba Fett (might remind you of the prototypical jock you knew in high school), a flamboyant fun-loving Dengar, and a Princess Leia that demands to be the center of attention. Check out the trailer below.
Recognize any of those voices? Detours was set to include many of the same voice actors to reprise their roles from the Robot Chicken specials. Breckin Meyer would voice Boba Fett, and Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane would return to voice his hilarious take on Emperor Palpatine ("What the hell is an Aluminum Falcon?") to name a few. In addition, Star War actors Anthony Daniels, Ahmed Best, and Billy Dee Williams all recorded episodes for the series as their original Star Wars characters.
How Detours began to differ from Robot Chicken (besides losing the adult humor that Root Chicken is known for) was its animation style. The characters for Detours were extravagant, fun-house-mirror, CGI versions of George Lucas's iconic characters with some having large heads and short, stocky limbs.
The show would have been set between the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy, each episode consisting of three six minute segments. Detours marked (at least as of this writing) the last Star Wars project that George Lucas had a real hand in working on. George Lucas has a fantastic sense of humor about Star Wars (just look Star Wars spoofs on Family Guy, Robot Chicken, or the 2009 film Fanboys for proof) so at a time when it seemed like making more movies was the way to go, this show really shouldn't have surprised anyone as the next thing George wanted to do. George even makes at least one appearance in Detours playing himself with a quick jab at the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special.
So why haven’t we seen this amazing sounding show? Well, in October of 2012 an event happened that would change the Star Wars Universe forever… the purchase Lucasfilm by Disney and the announcement of plans for a new trilogy. By March of 2013, Lucasfilm announced that Detours would be put on hold as they focused on the first installment of their new trilogy, 2016's Star Wars: The Force Awakens. According to Detours creator Seth Green, the question that Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy had about the show was how it might fit into the Star Wars brand as a whole, now that Disney was working on new Star Wars films. In 2015, Seth Green gave an interview on the Kevin Pollack Chat Show where he discussed the reasoning for Lucasfilm shelving Detours. Green said:
"She (Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy) really wanted to put detours on hold and not because, well at least by my understanding, not because she didn’t believe in our content, but because it's not a question of that content, it’s a question of Star Wars as a brand over the next 30 years…
…If kids spend the next three years watching Detours on XD, and it's these comedic interpretations of these iconic characters that they're about to be reintroduced to in Episode Seven… Vader, who's on par with, like, Mussolini, or Hitler, or Stalin, has been destroyed. You know what I mean? And so, if kids spend three years, in advance of seeing Episode Seven, being introduced to Vader as this kind of bumbling middle manager, I don’t know we all felt like that was kinda negligible (laughs)."
So, what's the latest on the show? Not too much, I'm afraid. The shows pages on Facebook and Starwars.com have long since been removed. However, it was reported that in June of 2018 Lucasfilm had renewed their trademarks for the show, causing some to speculate that someday, when the time is right, the company will release the 39 episodes they have completed and may even continue to develop the show using the 62 finished scripts that the team has written. It doesn't seem like a matter of if, but when. During a 2013 Q & A on Reddit, Seth Green described the show as "…a timeless bit of entertainment," and that the show could come out whenever "…without losing any of its lustre." So, who knows? With four new Star Wars movies out and the final installment of the new trilogy on its way next year, Detours might make a nice addition to the new Disney streaming service, Disney+, that is set to launch in late 2019. Here’s hoping!