Who is ArcoJedi? A life-journeying Christian, ecstatic husband, proud father of four, web guru, all-around geek and Star Wars fanatic. Read these thoughts that he felt were worthwhile. Then wonder why he thought that way.

2014/03/07

The Clone Wars on Netflix

I know what I'm doing this weekend.

Liam Neeson returns to ‘Star Wars’ in this trailer for the final season of ‘The Clone Wars’ | The Verge

In the wake of Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm, many current Star Wars projects were cancelled, including the animated series The Clone Wars. The 13 final episodes will be debuting on Netflix instead, and in this new trailer we get a sense of what's in store. In the final season — dubbed “The Lost Missions” — actor Liam Neeson returns to the franchise to reprise his role as the slain Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn, where he directs Yoda to visit Dagobah, the same swampy planet that Luke Skywalker visits in The Empire Strikes Back.

In case you're not familiar with The Clone Wars, the animated series takes place in between the second and third Star Wars prequels, allowing it to feature characters like Anakin Skywalker and Mace Windu. Overseen by Dave Filoni, the show originally aired on the Cartoon Network and spawned several video game spinoffs before production was brought to a halt. Filoni has now moved on to another animated show, Star Wars Rebels, which will chronicle the era between the prequels and the classic trilogy. The final season of The Clone Wars, along with every other episode of the series, will be available on Netflix on March 7th.

I had previously read that the final season of the show was coming to Netflix streaming, but I was not sure if all the earlier seasons would be available as well. And as if that wasn't enough of a pleasant surprise, I found out that I am not the only one in the house excited to see these. As mentioned in a previous post, I'm happy to be introducing my son to Star Wars. Since I may have overdone things with exposing my daughters to Star Wars, I'd assumed neither of them would be interested. But Olivia actually jumped excitedly when she learned this show would be available for us to binge on. Sammy recognizes some of the characters because in addition to the previous animated series, he's also been playing Star Wars Lego quite a bit lately. In fact, I got a second Wii controller for my birthday (to replace a broken one) and the two of us have played together for many evenings in a row. But right now we are about to watch the show. And -here -we -go...

First there is a full length movie to kick off the series. In 2008, this played in the theaters when it was originally released. I went to see it, but probably could have waited for it to be broadcast. Don't get me wrong, it's actually very good. But it's just not an epic like the films. This probably could have been a two-part pilot for the series instead and I'd bet that was the original intent. The film opens quickly without much preamble and no opening credits. There is an immediate voice-over narrator urgently introducing the action and getting you in the right frame of mind. This method harkens back to old style serial films, purposely evoking the Flash Gordon stuff that George Lucas loved so much. You almost expect him to say... "When last we left our heroes..."

The clone wars are galaxy wide now after the Battle of Geonosis. The droid armies of the Separatists, led by Count Dooku and General Grievous are striking and gaining a foothold against the Republic's clone troopers led by the Jedi. Obi-Wan and Anakin are in the middle of a battle facing hard odds when a new Padawan is introduced. Ahsoka Tano is a new Jedi apprentice who has been assigned to Anakin Skywalker as his first trainee. And perhaps he's not ready for one, or simply doesn't want one. But there's a battle going on, another wave of droids is on their way and there's no time to discuss the matter. By the time the smoke clears and our heroes prevail, Skywalker has decided to keep her around. He sees some spark in her, or something that reminds him of himself.

A question that I've always wondered about Ahsoka. This series takes place between Episode II and Episode III. She is introduced here and is Anakin's apprentice. But she's not mentioned or referenced in Episode III. Did she survive the clone wars? Does she ever complete her training? What happens to her? What affect could her fate have on Anakin? I haven't read any spoilers anywhere on this yet... but I may weaken before we get to the other side of this show.

Sammy recognizes some of the more distinctive characters from both the animated series AND from the Lego game. Notables here include R2D2 (of course), C3PO and some other similar protocol droids, General Grievous, Jabba the Hutt, Yoda and possibly a few more.

So far tonight, we've watched the first movie and one more episode. Sammy started to tire of it and it's getting pretty late, but this is going to be fun.

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