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Will Netflix launch Star Wars: The Old Republic?

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The Force Awakens has created fresh excitement over the Star Wars universe, among both diehard fans and casual movie goers; the Star Wars series has entertained fans for generations, and it has clearly stood the test of time. The Force Awakens was testimony to this fictional universe’s ability to enthrall its audience with stories that do not necessarily involve the Skywalker family, and The Rogue One will be another addition in this direction. This is also the reason why MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic was such a huge hit among gamers when it was released in 2011. If you’re one of those fans, then hold on tight: you might be able to enjoy The Old Republic universe in binge-watching mode on Netflix.

A petition is making the rounds on Change.org, wherein a small but growing number of fans have petitioned for Netflix to develop a TV series based on the fictional universe in The Old Republic game. The game’s setting is roughly 3600 years before the Battle of Yavin, and it proved to be absolutely delightful, both because of its gameplay as well as its storyline. Players could join either the Republic or the Sith, and now, the gamers have another reason to rejoice: an expansion pack for the game is set to be released this month, called Knights of the Eternal Throne.

With the sudden interest of Star Wars reboots in the media, hardcore fans want Netflix to produce an in-house series of its own.

But why Netflix?

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Netflix has delivered some of the most successful original TV shows in recent years, such as House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, and Narcos. Further, Netflix’s take on the Marvel universe has been particularly laudable, so the fans have no doubts that Netflix would deliver a masterpiece featuring the Star Wars universe. Another reason why Netflix draws so much attention is that it does not shy away from experimenting and being bold with whatever it does. Since the beginning, everything Star Wars has always been kid centered – the movies, the games, the novels, etc. Fans know that whatever comes out of Netflix factory will be targeting the mature audience; the show would be dark and appeal to the adults who have long been traded off for the sake of younger audiences.

The petition claims that Netflix would enjoy producing the show as much as the fans would enjoy watching it, since the timeline of the Old Republic is a very crucial point in Star Wars history. Everything changed in this era: The Jedi Civil War, Revan journeying into the dark side, the First Purge, the omnipresent and highly influential darkness, and so much more happened at this point in history. Watching these moments on television would be a splendid proposal for Star Wars fans.

It comes as no surprise that the petition has already gathered more than 120,000 signatures, well past their goal of 35,000 signatures. This is enough to convey to Netflix that they need not worry about the size of the audience for the show, if it ever decides to produce it. The fan base is already ready and awaiting the release of the show.

However, when Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012 for over $4 billion, it most probably had plans in place to cash in on its purchase. This means that Disney already has years’ worth of plans on what to do with Lucasfilm’s characters. Whether Disney would be able to accommodate the “new request” from the fans in its vision for Star Wars is not clear. That being said, a show based on the Star Wars universe was discussed with ABC and Lucasfilm a while ago, although the network had indicated that it won’t be happening anytime soon. Perhaps, this petition will give Disney the right kind of push that it needs to make the show happen.

Even for Netflix, this will not be a sudden development; the streaming sevice already has a deal with Disney that includes producing content from Lucasfilm. Perhaps the petition will convince Disney to consider the possibility of show; however, at the moment, it is understandably preoccupied with the upcoming Rogue One, set to hit theaters December 16. Following the success of the movie, which is guaranteed anyway, Disney and Netflix might find the “fan proposal” just the right thing to work on. You never know.

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