One of the biggest and most surprising announcements out of San Diego Comic-Con this year was the return of Star Wars: The Clone Wars for a seventh and final season. The Clone Wars was canceled in 2013 after five seasons (a sixth abbreviated season was released on Netflix after cancellation). The Clone Wars animated series was arguably the biggest thing to happen in the Star Wars Universe between the prequel and sequel trilogies. It did a lot of expansion of the roles and stories introduced and left unexplained in the prequel trilogy and probably helped to salvage (or mitigate the damage of) those movies for a large portion of the fanbase. While many of SWCW’s plotlines continued into Star Wars: Rebels, many of the series most important questions were left unanswered. Now that Rebels has finished, SW animation guru Dave Filoni will have the chance to go back and properly finish out Clone Wars. Disney will be premiering a new streaming service next year and 12 final episodes of The Clone Wars are expected to premiere there sometime in 2019.
The latest fantastic Star Wars tribute video from Hero Fan Productions (you have to subscribe to them on YouTube) features something not often dwelt upon when you think of the Jedi. They are awesome. They are heroic. They are also…possibly the worst educators in fiction. Yoda trained Dooku, Obi-Wan trained Anakin, Obi-Wan and Yoda barely trained Luke, Luke botched training Ben, and gave Rey 48 hours or so of instruction before Ghost Yoda had to show up and whack him over the head with his ghost stick (which apparently you can do if you’re a ghost…now).
Of course there were extenuating circumstances in all these training failures, and the hubris of the Jedi Order was what ensured its downfall from Palpatine (who was, all things considered, probably a better teacher than any of them). Those who can do; those who can’t teach. What the Jedi needed were a lot more mediocre doers who made better teachers. I’m sure Rey will take all the magic broom kids from Canto Bight and turn them into a new generation of Sith if the pattern holds. Still, it’s a wonderfully edited look at the lessons of failure in the Star Wars Saga from The Phantom Menace through The Last Jedi.
So how bored are you at work this fine Monday? A YouTube user by the name of James has put together a 90-minute mash-up of all the lightsaber duels from the six seasons of Star Wars: Clone Wars and the first two seasons of Star Wars: Rebels. I’m kind of happy season three isn’t in here for people who haven’t caught up yet, because season three, for those not in the know, kills off probably the biggest character in SW canon that the animated series have been allowed to slay. The fight choreography for the duels just keeps getting better as the series age. My personal favorites are the duel between Maul, Savage Oppress and Emperor Palpatine, and-of course-the epic reunion duel between Ahsoka and Anakin (now Darth Vader) at the close of Rebels season two. Chill out, check for your boss, and burn the rest of the work day watching lightsaber duels. The Last Jedi is almost upon us!
Hero Fan Productions is a channel you MUST be following on YouTube. A week ago, I shared their video “The Last”, which depicts Luke Skywalker’s journey through Episode IV to the trailer to Episode VIII (click here if you missed it). In “The Chosen One”, HFP looks at Luke’s father, Anakin, from Episodes I-VI (and Rogue One) plus footage from Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels. Vader’s legacy still loomed large over his family in Episode VII. Even 30 years after his death, Anakin’s fall was still dividing and hurting his family, the irony being that it was the mad protection of his family that drove him from them into the arms of the Dark Side. Everyone has their own view on the Prequels, but the information provided from them (mostly from Episode III and the 10 years of animated series) makes Vader’s story even more tragic. The notions of “balance to the force” and “the chosen one” appear to be something that we’re going to be dealing with again in The Last Jedi, which is promising the BIGGEST jaw-dropping plot twist in the Saga’s history. HFP does a great job with this (I wish they’d have stuck to using Williams’ score instead of epic music that gets a little distracting), and it gets you thinking about those parts of Anakin’s story that still may affect the stories yet to come.
MrRazNZ has assembled one of the most powerful Star Wars fan videos I have ever run across. Whether you love or hate the Prequel Trilogy, the final showdown between Anakin and Obi-Wan is undoubtedly one of if not the most powerful scene in any of the films. It changed forever how you view Obi-Wan in the Original Trilogy, especially his initial meeting with Luke. This video does an exceptional job, using Williams score (mostly from Episode III’s “The Immolation Scene” track) to weave that initial talk in Obi-Wan’s hut between Luke and Ben with flashing back to the actual events. What was once a whimsical talk between a mysterious man and a young boy is now a only the truth “from a certain point of view” conveyed to a son by the weary and aged warrior who had to cut down his father and watch him burn. There are literally thousands of these kinds of videos on YouTube, but this one is a work of art and does the best job of expounding upon how seeing what happened on Mustafar changes the original film forever for viewers than anything I’ve ever read or seen.