Translate the Linc

Monday, March 11, 2013

Farewell to the Clone Wars....For Now

Today, Lucasfilm and Disney announced the end of The Clone Wars TV series. Naturally, we all responded appropriately...

Star Wars the Clone Wars
As if a million pixels cried out....

I'll never forget seeing Revenge of the Sith for the first time. More specifically, watching the final moments of the film and knowing, deep down, that this was it. I'd never experience a new Star Wars movie again. I went through college pretty comfortable in the fact that the Saga had ended, and that we might not get any new stories past the novels of the EU.

And then, one day, sometime in late 2007/early 2008, I saw this:

Clone Wars
And made noises so high pitched dog called from neighboring states to tell me to pipe down.
We were really getting a new Star Wars movie and an animated TV series! It was exciting to go back into the theaters ready to see the fabled Clone Wars in action. We had only seen the beginning and the end in the movies, but this was going to be the main event!

And then this thing slithered on screen....

Jabba's son
Behold the face of doom.
The Clone Wars film was certainly...underwhelming. Stiff dialogue, a convoluted plot, and all around cringe-inducing nicknames ("Skyguy", "Snips", and, perhaps worst of all, "Artooey") made the movie a bit of a disappointment. 

But it most certainly got better. And better. And better. We were treated to stories of clones in action, political intrigue, Jedi at their pique, witches and Sith, even hints at the very nature of the Force itself! The Clone Wars knocked it out of the park with story arcs like The Citadel, Krell/Umbara, Mortis, and even the Wrong Jedi arc which just wrapped up last week. The character development, the effects, the action, and scenery, and the overall quality of the show kept exceeding expectations. They pushed the limits of CG animation and also made us question everything we knew about Star Wars.

Oh yeah...and they brought back Darth Maul.
The Clone Wars
What seemed like an impossible, irresponsible, lazy stunt turned into one of the best arcs in the show's history. We were treated to the Maul we had always wanted to see more of after Episode I, and we learned that doing so came with a price. We had to watch the once promising Sith apprentice bring himself back from the darkest depths of his own mind and turn his lust for revenge into a plot to seize ultimate power. It all culminated in "Lawless", quite possibly the best episode of the entire series.

And we got to see a lot of characters rise, fall, and grow. Asajj Ventress, Savage Oppress, Captain Rex and his clone brothers all became much more than what we had assumed they'd be at the onset of the show. New favorites, like Hondo, and old ones, like Plo Koon, were also given their time to shine. 

Most of all, we got to watch Ahsoka grow up. 
The Clone Wars
Nothing says badass like a shoto.
I'll admit Ahsoka was never my favorite. She seemed to appeal more to the teen girl demographic that I found very hard to break into in high school. This last arc really tested her, and her refusal to return to the Jedi Order was so packed with emotion and symbolism that it could rightfully serve as the last episode of the series. Ahsoka walking into the sunset signaled not only the end of her time as Jedi, but of our time as viewers.

It took a while for The Clone Wars to catch on with older fans, but once it did it never let go. And, more importantly, it introduced a whole new generation to Star Wars. There are some kids now who still haven't seen the movies, but love it just as much as the kid who first saw A New Hope in 1977. And that's what Star Wars is all about, each generation finding their way to the Saga we all love. And, without any knowledge of the Sequel Trilogy, for a while The Clone Wars was the last bastion in keeping alive that singularly true fan motto: "Star Wars is Forever". And it did the job admirably.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the brilliant cast and crew, led by the incomparable Dave Filoni. He took George's vision and, under his guidance, wove the Clone Wars so expertly into the Star Wars mythos. His eye for storytelling and his passion for the Saga made him the ideal choice to helm the series. And then there was the cast, an assembly of some of the most brilliant voice actors of our time. I think we take for granted how original, and yet classic, Tom Kane's opening announcements were. And his Yoda had the wisdom and whimsy we first saw way back in The Empire Strikes Back. Matt Lanter's Anakin showed his slow progression to the dark side. Catherine Taber was sublime as Padme. Ashley Eckstein was always enthusiastic as Ahsoka, but also somehow was able to make her more mature as each season progressed. Dee Bradley Baker deserves an Emmy for his portrayal as Captain Rex and all of the clones, particularly during the Umbara/Krell arc. And, of course, there's the incomparable, fantastic, and incredibly awesome James Arnold Taylor who, to many, is Obi-Wan Kenobi (and Plo Koon!). All the supporting cast, who brought to life characters like Asajj, Dooku, Savage, Mother Talzin, Hondo, Grievous, Satine, Bo Katan, Palpatine (RIP Ian Abercrombie), and many others are worthy of our recognition and thanks.

Star Wars The Clone Wars
The Dream Team

As The Man With the Hat says himself, there's more to come for The Clone Wars, and we were even treated to a clip of what that might be (see the link at the beginning of this post). But, sadly, for now, it's time for The Clone Wars to end. It is the way of things. The Way of the Force.

Clone Wars Ending
Oh...oh right in the feels.

I'm just glad we got to experience the thrill one last time.

May The Force Be With You


1 comment:

  1. i cannot say, in light of things that have been said (and things that HAVEN'T been said) in recent days and months, that i am surprised, but i am sad that the Clone Wars has come to an end, though on an appropriate note. The season finale definitely honored one of the central characters of this series...

    however, there are episodes still out there that will be available as bonus content.....

    and also, now we can go back and rewatch and rewatch and rewatch these episodes (i am sure i am not the only one who has already done so....)

    cosidering the fact that the live action movies total approx 13 hours and the series and animated move total over forty, we can't say that we haven't been given a fair amount of content to keep us happy.....

    and the people behind this amazing show should be given the props they deserve....from the directors to the voice actors, from the animators to the software designers, everyone involved have done a sterling job!