The force is strong with this one…
OK, after reading the title of this article you’re probably thinking, “Hey…the Clone Wars series didn’t fail!” While that’s true in the technical sense (meaning the ratings were typically strong and the merchandise flew off the shelves and into the kiddies hands), here is where I feel like it failed. It didn’t catch MY interest. Now, I’m the type of guy that soaks up anything Star Wars like a sponge. When I initially heard about an animated series (set in the Star Wars universe and based around the Clone Wars), I was stoked. However, as much as I tried to love it, it just never took. There was something about it that didn’t’ click for me, and I simply gave up on it after a while.
So what is the X factor that will hopefully make the new animated Star Wars Rebels series a success?
First off, I have to believe that I’m not alone here. There must be others who are just as enthralled with Star Wars as I am, yet found the Clone Wars series lacking. However, I do feel like I’ve found this missing ingredient. It’s the piece of the puzzle that the upcoming show may have that will allow everything to just fall into place for me (and others alike). Simply put, it’s the timeline. While the Clone Wars was an interesting era, nothing can top the characters and settings of the original trilogy. This is where I expect the new series to really shine.
In a recent interview, Simon Kinberg (executive producer on the project) tells us exactly how we can anticipate the show to root itself in more familiar territory (one that older fans will appreciate). “The world we’re creating is an Imperial world. You’re seeing the impact of the Empire, of Stormtroopers around the galaxy, abusing and oppressing people. Thematically and politically, it goes to some dark places. But for the tone of the show we took our cues from the original movies, which had fun and adventure and swashbuckling with emotion and grounded human characters. We took all our cues from the original films. Obviously there are slight tonal differences between New Hope, Empire and Jedi. But I think the closest intended voice of the show is A New Hope. So there are places where we get into darker backstories, there are places we see how cruel and malevolent the Empire can be, but for the most part it’s a fun and character-driven story."
Some of the most fun I’ve had in the giant sandbox that is the Star Wars universe has been with games like Shadows of the Empire and Rogue Squadron. While I do enjoy the prequel trilogy and subsequent EU that has spun off from it, there is something about the original trilogy content that grounds fans to a “force” we seem to enjoy more. The sights, sounds and adventures based around episodes four, five and six have a charm all their own. Granted, some of this can be chalked up to a bit of a generational divide, but there’s no denying that that cream of the Star Wars crop always rises to the top in the form of the original source material. The game Star Wars: Force Unleashed is a great example.
While the upcoming J.J. Abrams trek will take us into the world beyond the original trilogy, I’m glad to see Disney is still looking to delve back into the first three films (with projects like Star Wars Rebels and the rumored Bounty Hunter movies) to really bring things back to what we loved about this franchise all along.
So let’s raise a glass of blue milk and toast to the original episodes one, two and three. Hope, Empire and Jedi…we salute you!