Season 2 of “Star Wars Rebels” recently kicked off in our universe, but in an alternate dimension where George Lucas did not sell “Star Wars” to Disney, fans are currently reflecting on the conclusion of Season 7 of “The Clone Wars” and looking forward to Season 8, probably the epic final season of the show. While we’ll never get the full run of “Clone Wars” as originally intended by Lucas, we recently got the story reels for the “Bad Batch” arc, which according to Wookieepedia would have been the first arc of Season 7. The four episodes are posted on the “Clone Wars Legacy” page at starwars.com.
Two of my favorite franchises, “Star Wars” (which regular readers may have noticed I’m obsessed with) and “Veronica Mars” (my No. 6-ranked show of the Aughts, and on my to-do list for “rewatching and reviewing the classics”) showed different approaches on how to treat their fanbases this month. Disney broke fans’ hearts by canceling “The Clone Wars” after five seasons (about two more seasons of stories were planned, with several character arcs yet to be wrapped up), while “Veronica” copyright owner Warner Bros. is working with creator Rob Thomas and star Kristen Bell to make a movie.
Although the four-part “droids in the void” arc was by far the worst in the series’ run, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” Season 5 (8:30 a.m. Central Saturdays on Cartoon Network) nonetheless ranks as the best season so far thanks to the other arcs — the Onderon rebellion, the young Padawans, the Darth Maul/Death Watch saga (that arc’s finale, featuring Sidious fighting Maul, was the best episode of the series) and now the mystery-laden Fugitive Ahsoka arc.
We’re in a curious situation right now where 94 percent of the country supports pro-war presidential candidates yet other polls show that the majority of people are against war (although most of Congress is pro-war). Of course, war is a complicated issue, and I don’t pretend to understand all of it (although I certainly respect soldiers’ views, which tend to lean anti-war, in my experience). But because of the mainstream media’s focus on the two major parties, the raw fact of our involvement in the Middle East is generally not questioned — rather, the questions are about the details of how to conduct the wars.
“Star Wars: The Clone Wars” (8:30 a.m. Central Saturdays, Cartoon Network), which has switched from Friday nights to Saturday mornings with little fanfare for its fifth season, isn’t content to ease into a new batch of episodes. Picking up from the Season 4 finale, it jumps right back into showing Darth Maul and Savage Opress terrorizing the Outer Rim, with Obi-Wan and Adi Gallia in pursuit.
The “Star Wars” saga has a weird tendency to tell stories out of order. Most notably, the film saga started with Episode IV. The books and comics are rife with stories that fill in the gaps of continuity, such as “Shadows of the Empire” chronicling the search for Han Solo and “Darth Plagueis” telling the story of Sidious’ master. And, of course, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” (7 p.m. Central Fridays on Cartoon Network) is now telling stories set between Episodes II and III, many of which tie in with Episodes IV through VI as well.
Kind of a jerk move by Shane to kill Otis on Sunday’s episode of “The Walking Dead” (8 p.m. Central Sundays on AMC), huh? But also a shocking and fascinating one, and something that could set up TV’s next great “fall to the dark side” plot.
As if to not overwhelm “Star Wars” fans who were also picking up the Blu-ray release of the films on Friday, the fourth season of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” (7 p.m. Central Fridays on Cartoon Network) starts with a one-hour technical showcase that has very little story and character. It’s basically just a big underwater battle on Mon Calamari featuring four underwater races — the Mon Cala (a.k.a. Mon Cal in previous fiction) and Gungans on the side of the Republic, and the Quarren and a new shark-faced race on the side of the Separatists.
Long before the prequels started filming, George Lucas announced that R2-D2 and C-3PO would be in all six “Star Wars” films, so we had time to accept the huge coincidence that these two droids just happened to be owned by two generations of Skywalkers who never knew each other.
I’ve heard more than one person compare “The Clone Wars” to “The Empire Strikes Back,” basically saying that this is “Star Wars” at its finest. In addition to the similarly high quality, it’s interesting to note that both “The Clone Wars” and “Empire” were largely made by people other than George Lucas.