Are fan petitions for television shows ever effective? We may soon find out, as a petition for a Star Wars: The Old Republic series steadily moves toward its target of 200,000 signatures. With less than 10,000 supporters left to attract, the appeal targets Disney as the owner of the Star Wars property, and requests that a show be put together on Netflix.
While Star Wars: The Old Republic is familiar to those in the gaming world, it has never been explored within the cinematic canon of Star Wars. Nor has it featured in Star Wars animation, where Star Wars Rebels continues to reign supreme. Rather, these tales of what’s effectively the early history of the conflict between the Jedi and the Sith remain uncharted territory. The petition cover letter, written by Jasmine St-Philippe, details the fascination that exists around this area of Star Wars lore.
“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.”
The Old Republic era features characters such as Darth Revan, Darth Traya, Bastila Shan, Darth Malak, and Satele Shan, and it’s undoubtedly the popularity of the newly expanding Star Wars cinematic universe that has fans clamouring for a Netflix show that connects these pre-Rogue One dots.
There is some clear logic to the request, though. Disney and Netflix already collaborate highly effectively on the Marvel’s Defenders series – Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist – and the streaming service has successfully carved out its own niche of original programming, with shows such as House Of Cards, Orange Is The New Black and Bloodline. The attraction for fans is undoubtedly the way in which Netflix has gained a reputation for giving creators space to deliver the work they envisage, as opposed to imposing restrictions and requirements on the writer’s room.
From the point of view of Netflix, however, a Star Wars: The Old Republic television series has the potential to be very expensive to produce. Presumably, this is where Disney is supposed to weigh in, provided there were any creators even interested in putting the show together.
So, that really begs the question – do Disney and Netflix desire a Star Wars: The Old Republic series as much as the fans do, and if so, is 200,000 signatures enough to demonstrate sufficient audience interest to make the show seem cost-effective? Chances are slim, but you can’t fault a fan for trying, right?