Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Just when it seemed Star Wars couldn't be disfigured any more than George Lucas' greedy mitts could muster, we get The Clone Wars.

Just The Facts

  1. CGI animated tv series airing on Cartoon Network
  2. Set between movies II and III
  3. Proof that George Lucas truly, utterly despises every human on Earth.

Here We Go.....

The root of all our troubles with the series can actually be neatly embodied by a single character:

Ahsoka Tano. Anakin Skywalker's Jedi Padawan.

While we have no qualms with her as an actual character on the show (she being one of the few that doesn't cause us to hurl our remotes into the screen like some kind of plastic tomahawk), she does come to symbolize something inherently wrong with making such an elaborate prequel series like Clone Wars.

First off, she's Anakin's Padawan. She engages in battle across the stars, getting into all sorts of adventures and shenanigans with her esteemed Jedi master.

Think this is just some smutty fan art? Think again.

And what exciting quests await her by the time the story catches up in Revenge of the Sith? None. She's not even mentioned or referred to at all. This all despite the fact that she is the first Padawan Anakin, a.k.a Darth "Able To Snap Your Neck With A Thought" Vader, ever becomes close to and shares a deep teacher-student bond with.

Uh, guys? Darth Vader's apprentice is a pretty freaking big thing to skip over.

At least poor Galen left his mark on a fucking flag.

Another facet of the series that rubs us the wrong way is that nobody acomplishes anything. The whole series details the war between the Republic and the Separatists, a conflict that last a mere three years. Considering the fact that we've seen enough battles within those three years alone to make any Earth based war look like fucking hop scotch, we never see anyone make any kind of solid progress. Sure, each side has their fare share of victories, but none that seem to be the decisive page turners that everyone keeps hoping for.

Take any episode that features our good friend General Grevious. At any point during the plot, one character will firmly state that capturing or killing the droid commander is a top priority.

Shouldnt be that hard....

Despite the fact that acomplishing this goal could very well end the fucking war, it is never done. They come close several times, but Grevious always pulls a Roadrunner and manages to give the Jedi the slip. Of course, Grevious finally does die in Episode III, the moive that actually does end the war, meaning that we as the audience know right away that any fight featureing Grevious in Clone Wars is not going to end with him throwing up his arms and yelling, "Fuck this, I dont wanna fight anymore."

"I'd rather play me some space chess, anyway."

This just proves to futility of making prequels like this in the first place. Since we already have a firmly established hold on how the story flows, taking us back in time is meaningless. You can flash things up with all the space battles, lightsaber duels and cringe worthy dialogue you want, but it still doesn't change the fact that we know how this is going to end.

Spoiler: Everyone dies.

Come time for Revenge, everything Clone Wars tries so hard to establish will be completely obliterated. All the battles? Don't mean diddly; Emperor Douchebag wins either way. The strong as steel comradeship the Clone Troopers form with their Jedi generals? All instantly forgotten at the sound of Palpatine muttering in that grave tone, "Execute Order 66". The Jedi heroes themselves? Dead, exiled, or driven to madness at the horror of it all. This also leaves our dear Ashoka's fate really up to whatever ass pull the writers can muster should they ever decide to explain just what the hell happens to her.

"Five words: Death by Tuksen Raider orgy."

Speaking of which, remember when young Anakin mercilessly slaughtered an entire tribe of Sand People when mommy went away? You wouldn't know the man was capable of wholesale genocide by the way he acts in the series. He's always making jokes, acting smug, and recklessly acting like a god damned hero, despite the fact he'll later be known as a half-man half-robot black clad killing machine.

And don't even get us started on how he treats his kids.

But We Digress

Perhaps we're being a bit harsh. Perhaps years of prolonged brooding and rage concerning how far Star Wars has fallen since our grand years as little tykes have skewered our vision. You know, all those long afternoons spent running about making blaster rifle noises with our tiny lips and battleing our friends with the most awesome lightsaber our mother's broomsticks could become.

Those were the days.

Let's make something clear before we move on: We are not opposed to more Star Wars. It's a facet of our very lives that cannot and will not fade away from our minds no matter how bleak or childish it's presentation may be. We will more than welcome any new incarnation that is tossed our way, including that live action tv series should Lucas and company ever get off their asses and make it a fucking reality.

We find your lack of progress disturbing, Mr. Lucas.

But now we have to look at this with a pair of pragmatic x-ray specs. Sure, we as fans would love nothing more than to sink our teeth into a juicy new slice of that galaxy far far away, but at this point we shouldn't be surprised when it doesn't meet our expectations. As others have pointed out, there is a constant struggle between those that create beloved cultural treasures and those that enjoy and to some extent worship them. What they (i.e. Lucas) perceive as the best course of action to steer the franchise isn't necessarily the same direction that we as fans want to experience.

And we may be demonized for this, but we can't really blame Lucas for everything that's gone down. To the fans that are constantly filled with broiling rage about how bastardized your beloved franchise has become, you have to realize something: Lucas can't solely rely on you to buy his product anymore. It's been almost forty years since A New Hope blasted it's way into our lives, and while those original fans are still going strong, their numbers are not the same as they were when disco was all the rage.

Seriously folks, what was that all about?

As Plinkett pointed out, Lucas has to appeal to a new audience if he expects to continue churning out new Star Wars media every few years. That means that some of the older fans have to be sidelined in order for the new players to step onto the field. Sure, it sucks for us fans that had hour long debates on whether or not Han shot first, but that's the toll Lucas has to pay if he ever wants to cross the river to rake in another pile of money.

So when a series like Clone Wars shows up and we are just stare in awe as to how asinine it turns out, we shouldn't be storming Skywalker Ranch with torches and pitchforks. What we should do is take one hard look at the children we encounter in our day to day schedules and then scream at them in incomprehensible tongues as to how this is all their fault.

Go ahead. Push him off. He deserves it.