Star Wars is obviously most famous for its films, but the Star Wars universe is filled to the brim with other stories in varying forms of media. Some of the most popular of these are the Old Republic video games. Knights of the Old Republic started it all off back in 2003 which led to a sequel game and eventually an MMO. These games have generated a huge fan base, and remain some of the most popular Star Wars products out there.
Recently, fans of the games have banned together and created an online petition which has garnered over 90,000 signatures. The petition finishes by saying this to Lucasfilm and Disney:
The Old Republic era is a pivotal point in the Star Wars timeline because that's where everything changed, from the Jedi Civil War and the fall of Revan, the First Jedi Purge, and an omnipresent darkness that not only watched the chaos from afar but also kick-started the downfall. Our fanbase would love to see this on Netflix, and I feel that you would enjoy creating and adapting these stories as much as we would enjoy watching them.
I want to take a look at this idea objectively. Let's look at the idea of an Old Republic show coming to Netflix and weigh the pros and cons elementary school style.
Separation From The Films: The Old Republic era is set 3000+ years before the movies we know and love. A series based in this time wouldn't have to fit their stories into the already established canon. Their stories could be free flowing and head in almost any direction in this respect.
An Abundance Of Source Material: Those setting out to make an Old Republic era series wouldn't be faced with the daunting task of starting from scratch. There are many books and comics along with the games that provide a great foundation for a series.
Established Fan Base: Netflix seems to appreciate the value of creating a show that has a fan base long before it's actually released. Shows like Fuller House and Arrested Development Season 4 have done well because they had a fan base before they even began shooting. Beyond just being Star Wars, an Old Republic show appeals to a very specific sort of Star Wars fan: The hardcore.
Different Tone: Knights of the Old Republic and its ilk have grown popular in part for their tonal differences with the rest of the Star Wars universe. They tend to feel almost like medieval Star Wars even though they have the same technology as the main canon stories. This, like the petition says, would mirror Marvel's darker Netflix stories.
The Old Republic Would Become Canon: Even though the fan base for these stories grows every year, the Old Republic remains non-canon. This, I'm sure, has a lot to do with the fluidity of the games. A series would allow for a canonical storyline that would bring the best aspects of the games into canon.
A Set Story Would Hinder Choices In The Games: KOTOR and the games that follow gained their prestige through allowing players to make their own choices. Each player follows a different path because they make different choices. A series involving Darth Revan or Satele Shan would negate the players' choices because they would know that their particular story doesn't follow the set canon.
The Story Would Be Very Hard To Get Right: A series based on the stories of the games would spoil gameplay and vice versa. This generates a big problem because of fans' attachment to the story. We love the story of the games. Sticking to the established plot or changing up what we already know would almost certainly cause back lash from fans.
Detracting Focus: Disney and Lucasfilm obviously have their entire slate of projects planned precisely. Each book and comic serves to point our focus to certain time periods. Lately they've used Aftermath and Bloodline to keep us focused on the years between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, while Rebels and Ahsoka point us towards the Rebellion. The Old Republic may not fit into their grand scheme like we want it to.
A Series Could Tie Up The MMO: Star Wars: The Old Republic, the MMO, has had free range story-wise, which has led to amazing stories and expansions. Having one set storyline would begin to cage their possibilities. That might spell the end for the MMO.
Do We Really Want The Old Republic On TV?
I, like everyone else, am dying to see more Star Wars television. I am also a HUGE fan of KOTOR, KOTOR II, and SWTOR. However, I'm a little wary of those two things coming together. I know that if Lucasfilm takes this on, they will no doubt have solutions for every concern I may have. Until then, I'm going to remain cautious. It's absolutely possible to make the Old Republic show that fans want, but it would definitely be a huge challenge.
There are some solutions that could work, though. They could move ahead in time like SWTOR did, giving them free range story-wise. They could also focus on all new characters, that way they could make Old Republic stories without messing with the games. There are numerous ways this could all work out. Either way, I hope Lucasfilm gives it a try. Making this a reality would be ultimate proof that Disney and Lucasfilm are focused on the fans. Making this show would prove that their goal is to make Star Wars for us.
What do you think? Should Netflix start working on The Old Republic? Let us know in the comments below!