Star Wars: The Clone Wars–Renewing My Interest in a Galaxy Far, Far Away…

Clone Wars
I’ve been a bit starved for entertainment lately, so forgive me one last non-gaming related post to get it all out of my system.

During the Dark Days leading up to my graduation, I spent a portion of my dwindling down-time programming my DVR with things that I’d rather be doing. Somehow Star Wars made it onto the list, not because I have any great love for the new timeline–the recent trilogy effectively killed off any good will I’d accumulated during the past 30 years–but because, well, I guess I needed a little hope to get me through some rough times. With the exception of the last ten years, Star Wars has always been there for me. So I thought I’d give it a chance.

I’ve watched four episodes now, and it’s good. I think I know why.

I believe George Lucas was always a little jealous that he didn’t direct Empire and Jedi. I remember back in the mid-90′s hearing him say that he wouldn’t direct any of the new films in the trilogy, except maybe the first, in order to “set the mood,” or something.

Fast forward a decade and the man’s chubby little pawprints are all over the place. I think what it really comes down to is this–George Lucas isn’t a very good director. Don’t get me wrong, the man makes an EXCELLENT producer. Indiana Jones, Willow, the list goes on and on. He’s got vision and he’s got resources. But in my opinion, the four movies he directed sit at the bottom of the “Star Wars–Best of:” list. The best bits of Star Wars didn’t have Lucas at the helm and this, I believe, is why the Cartoon Network series The Clone Wars has managed to succeed.

For the first time in a long while, people with a passion for the series and a WHOLE lot of talent are getting together to make something great.

Take the series’ recent Bounty Hunter plotline:

In Episode 2, we saw Mace Windu pop the noggin’ off Jango Fett. We get a little teaser shot of Boba picking up his father’s helmet which is never rewarded or even mentioned in the final film. Instead, it just points us back to the original trilogy where we hear Boba say about five words and get eaten by a spiky vagina. Sorry, Mr. Lucas, but you dropped the ball.

In Clone Wars, we get to see young Boba Fett ally himself with some of his father’s less scrupulous co-workers in an attempt to assassinate Mace Windu and avenge his father’s death. He’s determined, but he’s still a kid. During the story arch, we get to see the little bastard make some pretty tough decisions which perfectly explain how he became the cold-blooded bounty-hunting bastard we all know him to be.

Holy crap, man. After watching this show, I’ve even started liking Anakin.

That’s because Clone Wars actually takes some time out from all the exposition to shine a spotlight on the characters Lucas neglected (As in, everyone.) I just finished an episode where Yoda and a couple of clone troopers get ambushed while trying to sway a neutral planet to the republic. Whether the planet joins or not is irrelevant, however, and what we’re rewarded with is 30 minutes of Yoda being a sneaky little shit and being totally awesome against impossible odds.

It’s about the characters, man! Lucas was so busy trying to tell this whole epic story that he forgot the point of it all. Anyone else see the episode of the Simpsons where they go see the new Star Wars and it’s like a two hour senate hearing?

It’s funny because it’s true.

Lucas’ vision for the new trilogy was so freaking HUGE that even his main characters were powerless to stand against it. You just sit there and watch them being dragged, kicking and screaming, from one scene to another.

I think I love this show because it’s giving me some closure. Star Wars hasn’t been ruined. There are amazingly talented people out there that still want the series to succeed.

Despite Lucas’ best efforts, Star Wars will live on.

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