Wednesday, March 13, 2013

End of the Line For Clone Wars

Way back in the day when Lucasfilm announced an animated series set in the interregnum between Star Wars Episodes II and III chronicling the much-ballyhooed "Clone Wars" period, I couldn't help but arch my eyebrow. Nonetheless, for five seasons now, the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars has managed the dual feat of making me care about the prequel era of Star Wars history, but also made me think of Anakin Skywalker, the erstwhile Darth Vader on whose tragedy the entire saga came to rest, as a heroic figure. That was no mean feat given what the show had to work with, and it certainly wasn't helped when the series launched with a mezzo-mezzo feature cobbled together from pisodes of the CG series.

Thanks to the diligent work of the storytelling artisans at Lucas, I've enjoyed seeing the time period of the Star Wars prequels enriched and enlivened through the weekly cartoon show, even as it functioned under the constraints of a fairly narrow narrative corridor, with a pre-ordained conclusion that doesn't really allow for
a happy ending sunset strut. Although the show had been airing on Warner-owned Cartoon Network since its debut, I'd assumed it would end up transitioning to a Disney-owned channel at some point to continue on its way. Such is not to be, however, as Lucasfilm has announced that the current fifth season of Clone Wars, which just aired its finale last week, will be its last.

While it's a shame to see such a solid show end so abruptly (it had gotten stronger and more confident with each succeeding season) I also think this is a positive sign. First, the bittersweet season (now series) finale from earlier this month answers one of the key questions surrounding one of the show's primary characters, and it leaves things open to revisit the setting and/or storyline down the line. Also off the sched indefinitely is a planned comedic Star Wars show that, frankly, looked pretty ghastly, so no great loss there. Most importantly, this indicates a "moving on" vibe at Star Wars HQ, where the prequel-era is being properly contextualized as part of the past so the brand can move forward into the bold, unexplored wilderness that is the the next trilogy.

(Source: Bleeding Cool)

No comments: