Here’s the secret about Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the CGI-animated television series that fits in between movies of George Lucas’ grand generational saga that takes place a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, etc. etc.: It may be the most truly cruel, bordering on outright evil, show on television.
Oh, sure; you can’t really tell that from the show itself. Individually, each episode is alternately thrilling, funny or – if it’s an episode that includes Jar-Jar Binks – really difficult to get through without throwing something at the television, and even devoted followers of the series who aren’t familiar with the movies – Although, admittedly, I’m not entirely sure how that could happen, but still – might be missing the sheer heartbreaking nature of the show. But to everyone else, Clone Wars should be regarded as little more than a cruel, cruel trick on fans and members of the 501st worldwide. Because The Clone Wars is, ultimately, all about the pointlessness and futility of… well, everything.
The key to just how insanely depressing The Clone Wars is, is the final movie, Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith. You all remembered that one, right? It’s the one where Anakin – who, to put things in the proper perspective, is the hero of The Clone Wars – succumbs to the dark side of the Force, turns on his teachings, and kills lots of Jedi, including all the kids who’re in training. So, yeah; the hero of the series turns his back on everything he’s been fighting for, and kills his former comrades. And some kids, just to ram home how evil he’s become.
(The ultimate fate of the series’ cast is, by accident or design, ridiculously bleak: The majority – if not all – of the core Jedi seen in the show end up dead by the end of Revenge of The Sith, either on-screen or by inference from that whole “All the Jedi are dead apart from the ones we show later” thing. The clone troopers and Republic officers go on to serve the intergalactic Nazi-esque Empire, and even the Sith separatists will be mostly dead by the time the dust settles. Only Obi-Wan, Yoda, R2-D2 and C3-PO really survive unscathed, with Anakin’s sidekick Ahsoka Tano’s fate entirely unknown, but most likely tragic. They should do an episode where they freeze-frame on various characters and go on to reveal what they ended up doing, like at the end of Animal House, but just keep flashing up the word “DEAD” over and over again.)