Star Wars is going to continue after Revenge of the Sith with a TV show, maybe two. Rumours abound it will bridge the gap between Episode 3 and 4, or venture into the Expanded Universe (an animated adaption of the Zahn trilogy would be great, though Zahn's books are not exactly cinematic). It might be live action or a cartoon like Clone Wars, or pilot some new 3D technology George wants to play with. It's also mentioned it might be like the Young Indiana Jones TV show.
If you haven't seen Young Indiana Jones it's 3 seasons of stories featuring er... young Indy... learning life and eventually growing into Harrison Ford. Ford even had a cameo in one episode. Typically you'd see old Indy telling some story which would flashback to either him as a very small boy (played by some kid) or as a young man (Sean Patrick Flaherty), spanning from 1900s-1920s.
However to make things more artificial more or less every week without fail Indy would meet some historic figure that would impact his life. I assume this was some attempt to add education into the mix. It got a bit silly to be honest... for instance:-
"While going to college and working in a speakeasy, Indy meets up jazz great Sidney Bechet who teaches him how to play the blues. Unfortunately, Indy also crosses paths with Al Capone and it's only with the assistance of his dorm roommate, Eliot Ness, that Indy is able to solve a vicious murder and prevent himself from ending up dead. (jeez - Chicago is a small town isn't it?)
"To keep him from getting into any more trouble, Indy is sent to visit his aunt in New Mexico. While there, he is kidnapped by Pancho Villa and swept up into the Mexican Revolution."
"On a military mission, Indy rescues a small child in an African village, and encounters the legendary Albert Schweitzer, and helps him in his jungle hospital."
"Young Indy meets the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt while on safari in Kenya."
"After being assigned to the Lafayette Escadrille flying squadron, Indy encounters notorious German flying ace Baron von Richthofen; then goes undercover to persuade aircraft designer Anthony Fokker to defect from Germany." (not bad going for a 19 year old American in 1916).
and my personal favourite...
"Love - well, first infatuation - smites Young Indy in colorful Old Vienna where he falls for the daughter of Archduke Francis Ferdinand. Needing emotional guidance in his own crisis, Young Indy sounds out Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung on what love is all about." (not bad for a 9 year old).
So as you can see this stretches the credibility of the show just a little. The show itself is not exactly brilliant in my opinion, though it does seem like the critics loved it. Ok - it's watchable and boasts a pretty stellar cast (though Sean Patrick Flaherty is no Harrison Ford, but he's good on the Dead Zone).
The first time I saw Young Indy was when someone loaned me the video "Train of Doom". They were giving it away free with the movie trilogy video set. I should've been suspicious given the fellow told me to keep the extra video.
Train wreck of doom more like.
Each Young Indy video had a documentary telling you about the historic period it was set in, and George mentioned how the series had won critical acclaim for it's realistic portrayal of World War I.
Yeah - like in the Treasure of the Peacock's Eye (I was a sucker and bought another video thinking it might actually be a proper Indy adventure), where Indy and his sidekick leap out of the trenches into No-Man's Land to chase an Indian guy who stole a treasure map off them. Thankfully all the German troops in the adjoining trench were taking a nap so they didn't bother to obliterate Indy, the side-kick or the Indian map nicker.
Or like in Train of Doom is set during World War I. Indy, a member of the Belgium army ('cos like no Yank was in the War until 1917) is sent from the trenches to join this regiment of old fellas to blow up a massive gun mounted on a train. He succeeds and ends up reporting to what can only be the fathers of the two British airmen from 'Allo 'Allo.
Realistic depiction of World War I? Chase sequences in No-Man's Land? American in the Belgium army?
I guess George was listening to his Yes-men at Lucasfilm.
As an addendum, the regiment of old British soldiers and possibly the gun is real if I remember it correctly.
Even more oddly I could not see how on Earth the Indy portrayed in Young Indiana Jones could grow into the relatively ruthless treasure hunter of the movies. In "Treasure of the Peacock's Eye" Indy re-encounters his old pal Albert Schweitzer who convinces him life is more important than finding treasure and rather than chase the Peacock's Eye he decides to go help some sick African kids. Err... ok.
Anyway, what cued this rant was that I watched yet another episode on BBC 2 the other day. This was was where Young Indy went to New York in the 1920s and got a job working on a Broadway musical with the help of George Gershwin. Young Indy gets to trade quips with the famed and razor-witted Algonquin Round Table when he is not soothing temperamental stars, romancing three different women at once, and worrying about suspicious backstage malfunctionings.
Basically, rather than getting Raiders of the Lost Ark I got a plot that Coronation Street has recycled three times and a "realistic" depiction of 1920s New York.
So - umm... in summary- George - don't make any Star Wars series the same way you made Young Indiana Jones! Step back and let the guy who did Clone Wars do his stuff!