Kid-Friendly ‘Star Wars’ Series In ‘Very Early Development,’ Lucasfilm Says

A report surfaced yesterday that Lucasfilm Animation is currently developing a kid-friendly “Star Wars” TV series based on the “Galactic Heroes” line of toys. These are action heroes designed for a younger audience, with exaggerated hands, feet and heads, and a vaguely anime look, especially around the face & eyes. The reported working title for the in-development series is “Squishies,” and things have progressed far enough for a director to have been hired.

As I generally try to keep my finger on the pulse of all things “Star Wars,” we reached out to Lucasfilm for comment. Here’s what came back: “Lucasfilm Animation has many projects in development. One is for a younger audience but it’s in very early development and too early for any details.”

The report surfaced on IESB, via an unnamed source at Skywalker Ranch. The news triggered a wave of mostly cynical responses from the blogosphere, railing against what many see as a money grab.

Call me a “Star Wars” apologist, a super-fan, whatever you like… this isn’t such a big deal. Lucasfilm has been playing to the kiddies since the early days of the franchise, with cartoons like “Ewoks” and “Droids,” the two made-for-TV live-action “Ewok” movies… hell, the whole Ewok subplot in “Return of the Jedi.” To me, a “Galactic Heroes” series, or any other “Star Wars”-branded TV programming for younger children, is little more than a way to introduce kids to a classic sci-fi franchise.

It’s not like adult fans haven’t been serviced. “Phantom Menace” fell far short of (admittedly unreasonable) expectations, but “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith” offered plenty of standout moments. Genndy Tartakovsky’s “Clone Wars” cartoon shorts delivered a slick, stylized extension of the prequel material and the Dave Filoni-supervised “Clone Wars” animated series even now does a good job of straddling the line between catering to fans new and old. That’s not even getting into the long-running series of comic books and novels, or the upcoming live-action TV series.

The point is this: there’s still “Star Wars” for fans of all ages to enjoy. So what’s the big deal if Lucasfilm wants to hook them when they’re young? That’s how the series got me, and it nurtured a rich, multi-faceted interest in science fiction as I grew up with it.

Which elements of the “Star Wars” Expanded Universe do you keep up with these days? What’s your favorite?