Season 5 just wrapped and is the last episodes that will air on Cartoon Network. Production has stopped outside of “bonus content” as it’s referred to in the press release from Lucasfilm animation. The remaining episodes that were in various stages of completion will be released sometime in the future in a format to be determined.
Pretty crappy news huh? It always sucks when your favorite show ends no matter if it’s wrapping up naturally or being cancelled. Of course this news has been met with a variety of reactions from general “well, that sucks” type sentiment all the way down to your stereotypical “nerd rage.”
Honestly, I fall closer to the higher end of that spectrum. I am bummed about it, yes, but I can see the writing on the wall and I’m trying to look at the bigger picture. It’s easy for us hyper-obsessive geeks to not only not see the forest, but we have a hard time seeing the trees because of all the detail in the bark and leaves.
Ever since the Disney buyout was announced, I’ve been happy. I feel that Star Wars is in good hands. Some people have cried foul, but I think most of that is because they still see the Michael Eisner disaster that was Disney. Disney is the company that now has Pixar, some of the best storytellers in film making today, the gold standard of cinematic animation, and has control of Marvel. While we have yet to see Disney’s true plans for Marvel studios, they have already made moves to greenlight properties like Guardians of the Galaxy.
Any studio that would green light a superhero film featuring a talking tree and a gun toting raccoon fighting aliens trusts their people.
It’s things like this that make me feel good about Disney being in control of Star Wars.
This brings us to the heart of the matter. Those who are really upset about Disney basically cancelling or “postponing” Star Wars projects. They are crying foul at the buyout and saying that Disney’s true colors are showing. This is the wrong way to look at.
Disney has a plan for Star Wars and a vision. Of course to reach that vision a reorganization is required.
The last few years Star Wars has been all over the map. We’ve had the Clone Wars TV show, video games, books, comics and every manner of product tie in and licensing. The one thing Star Wars has lacked recently is focus. The timeline now spans 25,000 years, and there have been stories covering every corner of it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but ever since Revenge of the Sith wrapped there hasn’t been a center for everything.
Clone Wars was great, and it pulled decent ratings, but it had nowhere near the penetration of the films. It was never a strong enough item to focus the Star Wars empire on. Converting the Clone Wars ratings into potential box office receipts would make for a pretty low grossing feature.
The biggest problem with the Clone Wars was no one could truly figure out it’s audience. Other than “Star Wars fans”, we may be mighty and Legion, but we are not a demographic. Clone Wars had kid friendly episodes that turned off the older fans, and more mature episodes that were too dark for a lot of kids. However, the producers did find a pretty good balance between the two.
With all that being said, where are we now? Yes, it’s sad that the Clone Wars is being cancelled especially in the light of the incredible heights the show hit at the end of Season 5. The final episode that wrapped up Ahsoka’s fate and the season is a pretty good exit for the show. Arguably Ahsoka is the closest thing the show has had to a main character. The show began with her entrance and is now ending with her exit. It doesn’t get much better than your character walking off into the sunset.
Are there more stories to tell? Of course there are. When the show first started I estimated that if the show only focused on the adventures of Obi-wan and Anakin during the roughly 3 year period of the Clone Wars that gives you nearly 1000 days to cover and possible stories. Multiply that by 10,000 Jedi, millions of Clone Troopers, and hundreds of peripheral characters and you could have a show that ran for decades. So yes, there are more stories to tell.
But now it is time for the Clone Wars to leave the spotlight and gracefully walk into it’s own sunset.
It’s time for a new direction and a new focus. It’s time to turn the Star Wars saga from a shotgun blast all over the timeline to a laser focus, and that focus is the future of the Sequel Trilogy and what new stories that part of the timeline has to offer us.