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Star Wars: Clone Wars season two promises a more sophisticated galaxy

by Jason Hughes, posted Jul 25th 2009 2:28AM
Star Wars: The Clone WarsAs an old-school Star Wars fan, I've been a little disenchanted with the many little ways George Lucas has slowly turned his rich tapestry into a children's fable. In the Star Wars I loved, there were moments of real terror, a sinister menace and true danger. The "Ooh, we can sell toys!" started with the ewoks and hit critical mass with Jar-Jar Binks.

But there were some moves in the right direction. Episodes II and III were improvements over The Phantom Menace, so I held out hope that new projects might keep what I felt was the proper maturity of Star Wars in perspective. And so, like a good little drone, I tuned into Cartoon Network's The Clone Wars animated series, and it was ... cute.

For years and years, this was the era we knew so little about. In the novels and comics, which took all of this pretty seriously, thank you very much, we covered from thousands of years before Darth Vader to spans after Han and Leia get married. But not the Clone Wars. That era was special. So we waited. And we got cute.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the entire season. It just felt kind of inconsequential. Like the Droids and Ewoks cartoons of old, the stories felt just a little too cleaned up and happy, considering what was at stake. So I was more than a little bit thrilled to hear that season two of Star Wars: The Clone Wars promises more mature storytelling. That's the report from supervising director Dave Filoni at Comic-Con.

Quotes like "we have to kill Jedi" and "people start losing limbs in season two" are good. I'm not a masochist, but this is war, people. And in war, bad things happen. To sugarcoat it is an insult to the institution.

More good news is the inclusion of Boba Fett and Bossk in season two; apparently, LucasFilms didn't allow bounty hunters in the first season. Not kid-friendly enough? I'm glad somebody realized that while Star Wars fans come in all ages, most of them are adults by now.

Clone Wars got huge ratings for Cartoon Network, and I think taking it into a more mature direction is exactly the right move. Set the tone and prove that the fanbase is there, and then bring us that sophisticated live action Star Wars series we all deserve.

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I'm a huge SW fan and love the both Clone War Series as well as the movie. I think the shows strengths are in its moderate amount of action and its genuinely good story telling. I am not a fan of any of the prequel films as I could not stand the character they made Anakin out to be (while all the other parts were written and performed extremely well). In my opinion the movies never moved past whiny, "woe as me" Anakin, whereas the Clone Wars TV shows allow us to see the strong Hero that the later episodes alluded him to be prior to his spiral into the dark side. These two series show us an Anakin who was great whereas the in the films he was a loathsome character who always seemed to be already dark, never a the great hero that could have fallen off the pedestal, because he never climbed the stairs to be able to stand atop in the first place. As for gore and "this is war" being a highlight of the second season, If I want gore I watch Dexter. If I want true war I watch the history channel. As far as Star Wars is concerned, the war and death in it is more than enough already, how many clones die in each episode? You might not see the blood but the fact isn't lost on us or our younger viewers. It has the nice balance that makes it fun for adults and fans and equally fun and interesting for the younger audience. To "kick it up a notch" as one might say, would only detract from this experience in my opinion. I'm sure the show will still be great and but to say your finally happy to see some gore in an animated tv show is rather distasteful. I understand its fun sometimes. I watch plenty of Animation, Movies, and TV shows that have more than enough action and gore to go around. Ultimately, for me, it comes down to storytelling. And I've always thought the true nature of the Star Wars franchise was to tell an amazing story, not to showcase that limbs can be severed and people die. You really should read more into it than that. if you want those things go experiment with a hot knife and your finger in a kitchen and tell me if you're satisfied afterward.

September 18 2009 at 2:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I also do not like the Ewoks or Jar Jar Binks, but I liked the first season of Clone Wars immensely. Plus, there has already been a "mature" Clone Wars in 2003. Why do you find dark and violent "mature" or "good"? Yes, its war, but do you really want it totally realistic? Most people would lose their lunch, as they should. Seeing someone die before your eyes is not all its cracked up to be, believe me.

Of course, I also have three children I'd rather not be totally desensitized to violence and grow up as serial killers of something.

August 29 2009 at 11:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Star Wars and Raiders were supposed to be B-movie serials for the late 20th/early 21st century. Mr. Lucas was always pretty clear on that.

But what I really wonder is if Mr. Hughes has ever been to war? I'm guessing anyone who talks about "dishonoring the institution [of war]" probably hasn't been. Correct me if I am wrong, bro, but I'm thinking you've never seen a limb removed by violence. I'd love to have you time travel back with me (wait, go with one of my medics, they had it far worse) to 05/2007, Baghdad, as the glorious "surge" got off to its inglorious start. Mr. Hughes could hold the hands of, and speak to, real young men and women who had just (20-40 mins prior) lost both their legs. That'd free up the medics to do their jobs, and give the writer a whole new perspective.

"We have to kill Jedi"? "People are going to start losing limbs"? Wake up, mr. Hughes and America, too. It's not so f'in bad when the good guys come home in 1 piece.

Maybe TV should reflect reality? Or set some standard reality could aspire to? Every boy in my son's 1st grade class adores SWCW. Too bad it's as violent as it IS a. Mature, excellent screenwriting could take us further with less death.

I enjoy the show, too. And Ewoks sharing fresh-baked cookies with Jar Jar is not the replacement plot I am looking for. Rather, think about how every town having several martial arts schools, you don't have wild sensei running around beating all the citizens up. Does restraint make the sensei LESS tough?

If we assume the Jedi are a little better trained and philosophically grounded that the average storefront dojo-master in Poughkeepsie, why would more non-violent but good action, intrigue, wit, and other good TV elements detract from their mojo? Carnage = entertainment? For my son's 1st grade?

Demand something better, faithful viewers.

July 26 2009 at 12:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Don't know Jason, but


was exactly what you ask for. So IMHO you already got what you wanted before the CG-version of the Clone Wars started. The CG one got a little bit further back in time (I felt it did that, I didn't research this) and therefor to me it was always clear that the "killing of Jedi" would happen later on.

July 25 2009 at 4:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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