Lucas talks ‘Red Tails’ trilogy and McCallum drops ‘Star Wars: Underworld’ title

Wait, wait, wait… so “Red Tails” is a trilogy?

That’s what George Lucas said during a fairly freewheeling interview on “The Daily Show” this week.  He’s been making the rounds doing publicity for “Red Tails,” which is a surreal thing to say as a longtime Lucas fan.  How many years has he been talking about this story, and how long has he been trying to get it made?  And now, finally, here it is.

Rick McCallum has also been doing interviews to support the film as well, and he dropped an interesting bit of information about the long-rumored live-action “Star Wars” television show… a title.

What’s really interesting is how the title plays into what I’d already learned about the show, and every time they say anything official about the show, it sounds like they’re making the series that I initially heard described.  And if that’s true, it sounds like it could be a really interesting different take on the world of “Star Wars,” one that’s not like any of the films that have been made so far.

I remember when people were playing the guessing game on the titles for the “Star Wars” prequels, and at one point, I was sent a tip about how the second of them would be called “The Seventh Tower.”  I ran it as a rumor, and immediately, I got hammered by people telling me that the title actually was used on a book, part of their YA line of books.  Well, I’d point out that “Star Wars: Underworld” was actually the title of a couple of different “Star Wars” publications.  A high school friend of mine actually wrote a graphic novel with that title, and one of the Jude Watson novels in the “Last Of The Jedi” series was called “Underworld” as well.  So while I have eyes and can see that Rick McCallum does indeed use that title in the IGN interview that started all of this, I’d like to point out that it seems like a title that’s already has a little use in the “Star Wars” world, so it seems odd that they’d be using it again.  Not impossible, but odd.

The story, as I understand it, is about the leading crime family on Coruscant, a family that has their fingers in everything.  The series is going to be set between “Revenge Of The Sith” and “A New Hope,” and it deals with the way the Empire gradually works its way into everything, and the way that divides this family, with half of them happy to ignore politics completely as long as the money keeps rolling in and half of them determined to restore things to the way they were.  It’s going to be interesting to see the first major “Star Wars” property that doesn’t deal in some way with the Skywalker family, and especially one that purports to be a darker look at the world that Lucas created.

In the “Daily Show” interview, Lucas doesn’t really discuss anything related to “Star Wars,” and I get it.  Like I said, “Red Tails” has been a long time coming, and say what you will about the guy, but he finally stepped in and paid for this very expensive film himself instead of waiting for someone else to greenlight the movie.  He’s also basically selling it himself, and he knows full well that it’s not an easy sell considering the lack of “movie stars.”  I know we’re all supposed to get angry about each and every sound Lucas makes at this point, but I think it’s great that he finally made this movie, and I look forward to seeing it.

Having said that, Jon Stewart’s reaction when Lucas mentions the idea of a “Red Tails” trilogy is endlessly funny.

I think if Lucas had just faded away after 2005, no one would have begrudged him the move.  He is a dedicated family man, and he could simply step into the role of Lucasfilm, Ltd. figurehead without actively working as a filmmaker anymore.  He’s certainly not hurting for money.  But instead, he continues to work to finally scratch some of these long-standing creative itches.  I’d love to see what those 50 finished scripts for the live-action series look like, and honestly, I’d love to see “Red Tails” make so much money that he got to make the prequel and sequel that he says are “much better.”

For now, though, it’s just nice to see that even after you create one of the single most successful and long-lasting film series in history, you can still have goals.

Here’s the IGN interview with McCallum:

And here’s the “Daily Show” interview with Lucas.

“Red Tails” opens everywhere January 20, 2012.