Howard Roffman, president of Lucas Licensing, revealed that the hotly rumoured Star Wars™ animated TV comedy series with Seth Green will premiere “within the next two years”, as he was grilled by EMPIRE magazine editor-in-chief Mark Dinning in The Big Interview at Brand Licensing Europe 2011 exhibition today. Roffman told the hundreds of business professionals gathered in the Licensing Academy that new technology, like animation and 3D, are crucial to keeping the brand fresh, helping Lucasfilm take Star Wars™ to a third generation of fans. Roffman also hinted that a totally new Star Wars™ live action TV series was under consideration for the future.

Whilst careful not to give away too many details, Roffman said that Lucasfilm is working closely with US comedian Seth Green, of Family Guy and Austin Powers fame, to finalise the comedy TV series. He said that Lucas has always found Star Wars™ parodies extremely funny, citing a brutally frank French & Saunders parody as an example, and is thrilled to be exploring opportunities in a new area of the brand.

Roffman said: “Lucasfilm knows that to keep the brand fresh and exciting for both new and existing fans, we must always look for new ideas. For example the Clone Wars TV series has been an exciting new chapter for the Star Wars™ brand. The changing nature of technology has also opened many doors. In 2011 we launched blu-ray versions of all six films and in February 2012, we will launch a 3D version of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace in cinemas worldwide, as we aim to reach a third generation of fans.

The new animated Star Wars™ comedy series with Seth Green is a product of Lucasfilm’s focus on continued innovation. I remember showing George the French & Saunders parody of The Phantom Menace with trepidation in my heart, but I don’t think I have ever seen him laugh that hard! Lucasfilm has never been more prolific. We are in one of the most exciting phases of Star Wars™ 34-year history.”

Roffman has been a part of Lucas Licensing for 31 years and there are few people closer to the Star Wars™ brand and the secrets behind its success. The third-highest-grossing film series in history, Star Wars™ consumer products have sold a staggering $23bn worth of merchandise over the last three decades.The brand continues to thrill and engage its third generation of fans through the blu-ray releases, the upcoming 3D cinematic experience and now one, possibly two, new TV series’ on the way.

Brand Licensing Europe 2011 exhibition, taking place October 18 – 20 at Olympia in London, is the only pan-European event dedicated to licensing and brand extension. Lucasfilm has a stand at the show this week, alongside nearly 250 other exhibitors including BBC Worldwide, Mattel Consumer Products, Manchester United Merchandising and The Walt Disney Company. All the big deals happen at the show and it’s during this week that all the big trends in sectors as wide as gaming, toys, fashion and technology are set in stone. Now in its 13th successful year, Brand Licensing Europe 2011 will host around 6,000 retailers, manufacturers and sales promotion professionals from 63 countries this week.