After eleven movies, the Star Wars universe is well and truly established by this point. The Mandalorian Disney+ show has been, I hate to say it, more fun than any of the movies. It has also been pretty damn successful at getting people to sign up for yet another streaming service. So successful, in fact, that Disney announced on Thursday that it would be joined by nine additional D+ shows set in Star Wars universe.
Nine shows! I’m excited by the rapid expansion of Star Wars canon, but I’m still apoplectic that none of these nine programs are a docudrama Drive T0 Survive-style exposé on the world of professional podracing. Clearly there is more to this one-off plot device from 1999's much maligned The Phantom Menace than just the Boonta Eve Classic Podrace. I want to know what Sebulba gets up to when he’s not in the cockpit or sabotaging his competition.
The first episode of The Mandalorian this season saw Mos Pelgo Marshal, Timothy Olyphant’s Cobb Vanth riding across the sands of Tatooine sidesaddle one of what appears to be one of Anakin Skywalker’s old podracer pods. I would like to know more about the infrastructure behind this space mobility possibility. Is there a junkyard for old podracers? Wouldn’t a winning podracer be enshrined forever in a podracing museum somewhere?
How does a champion podracer become the cast off scraps for which a podunk town’s sheriff can ride around on it? This is like if Lewis Hamilton’s Monaco-winning 2008 McLaren MP4-23 puttering around some Parisian suburb in 2020. Clearly a very fast machine has no place in the hands of mere mortals, and certainly not in normal desert traffic.
I’m starting to think that there is an underground podracer grey market which specializes in repurposing ex racers into extreme mobility solutions for the street. This would also make a great show, as it could be an entire underground racing scene. Give me Star Wars: Fast And Furious right goddamn now. Obviously if there is a shop building stuff like this in whatever town would be considered Tatooine’s Miami, there should also be a 2 Fast 2 Furious-style Tej Parker character, overseeing the entire hustle. I recommend a young rapper-turned-actor by the name of Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges.
I’m sure that Ahsoka, Rangers of the New Republic, Visions, Lando, Andor, The Acolyte, and A Droid Story will be great, and I’m not saying I want to watch nothing but Star Wars for the next decade, but if they’re going to go to the trouble of building out this many shows, the least they could do is make one of them about podracing. It was a huge plot point, and instrumental in setting the events of the entire nine-movie Skywalker Saga arc into motion. I know Episode I was lame, but don’t drag podracing down with the rest of the ship.
Just as The Mandalorian has cribbed tropes and direct storylines from old-school Samurai and spaghetti westerns, a podracing drama series could take all the best bits from classics like Speed Racer, Grand Prix, Le Mans, and the Fast and Furious series. It’s a good idea, and if Disney would like to consider this my pitch, I’d be happy to direct. Would be cool if they did.