That collective hooting and hollering has never been any louder now that the Mandalorians are finally getting Star Wars canon screen time in tonight's kick-off of a three-story arc, "The Mandalore Plot." Dave Filoni, Clone Wars supervising director, hears those empassioned tones and knows the responsibility he's facing.
"Ever since the first time we saw Boba Fett in 1980, the fans have known he had Mandalorian armor," Filoni said during an interview at Lucasfilm's HQ in San Francisco's Presidio. "Fans have been waiting a long time to see the Mandalorians in action."
"This is George Lucas' universe and he's very active in the show. So, it was George who suggested we bring the Mandalorians into the series."
The show remains one of the highest rated programs for males aged 12-25. That's no surprise since boys have always been the cash cow of George Lucas' $3 billion empire (no pun intended).
Hasbro is the emperor of Star Wars toys (at least those for kids), and the company has a couple of new, higher end items for the 2009 holidays.
The Clone Wars Remote Control R2-D2 is pretty much as advertised. For about $30, you get a replica of a Death Star comm-link that controls the droid's movements, sounds and lights. A kid will have fun driving him around the house. But, the toy is more fun for adults if you imagine that every beep he makes is really a rude, digitized curse word.
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.
We may be witnessing some history here. I'm not talking about the Obama presidency, though that is very historic. Nor am I speaking about my recent advancement into my 40s, which isn't really historic bur rather another nail in my coffin. What I speak about here is a merging of two science fiction universes.
George Takei, the calm and cool Sulu from the original Star Trek series, will be providing a voice to a character on Cartoon Network's Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Takei will be providing words to the corpulent Lok Durd, a separatist Neimoidian general. Unlike the peaceful Sulu on Star Trek, Durd is somewhat overzealous (aka -- crazy like a loon) and has developed a weapon that will wipe out all living matter save for his battle droids.
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