But that’s not all! Revenge Of The Sith also makes explicit that the war wasn’t really about anything more than a veiled grab for power on behalf of Senator Palpatine, AKA The Emperor, so it’s not even as if the good guys lose – The good guys from The Clone Wars will, one day, find themselves realizing that their very cause was corrupt and that they were merely pawns in a power struggle that, if you really stop and think about it, doesn’t even make that much sense (No, really; don’t bother. It’s not like it all falls into place the more time you spend on it).
I know what you’re thinking, though; you’re thinking “So? So? I am totally down with depressing shows about the bleakness of life amongst the stars! I watched Battlestar Galactica for years and not just because I had a crush on Grace Park!” And here’s where Clone Wars‘ true evil shines through: When you watched BSG, you knew exactly what you were getting. They were completely upfront with the tragedy and the depression and the melodrama all the “frakking” time. There was no way to watch BSG and not realize that everything was very, very grim indeed. Not so with Clone Wars. As I said before, Clone Wars is an essentially upbeat action-adventure show. Sure, there may be thrills and some spills, but nothing too horrible happens within the show; war looks less like hell than a pretty exciting if occasionally uncomfortable heck, and there’s this feeling throughout the entire thing that, maybe, just maybe, everything will turn out okay after all.
There’s going to be an entire generation of kids growing up whose first exposure to Star Wars is the Clone Wars cartoon, and they’re going to get hooked on the lightsabers and the droids and everything else that’s awesome about the whole Star Wars universe, and they’re going to watch the series and then graduate onto the movies and reach Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith and then just fall to pieces. Nothing in Clone Wars prepares you for the smackdown of Episode III – Anakin embraces the dark side! Obi-Wan cuts Anakin’s legs off! – and I can’t even imagine what it’ll feel like for all the little wannabe-padawans who’ll discover that, hey, their hero kills lots of kids and then goes on to become a cyborg tyrant crushing all the good out of the universe.
So, yeah: Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Whereas, for my generation, Star Wars was an exciting reinvention of science fiction that revolutionized mainstream cinema and created the blockbuster as we know it today, for today’s kids…? It’s going to be the thing that’ll break their spirits and make them into bitter, terrified people who can’t bring themselves to invest in stories anymore. Thanks for that, George Lucas.
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