That’s No Moon

Ok, probably everyone has already seen this but I finally caught all of the animated “Star Wars: Clone Wars” that the creator of “Samurai Jack” made in conjunction with LucasFilm. It’s a series of twenty 3 to 5 minute micro-episodes. The series recently won an Emmy for Outstanding Animated Programming of One Hour or More. Cartoon Network showed them all last night.

“Outstanding” is certainly the word the describe them. The animation is vibrant. The stories are fun. The action is exciting and the sound effects are straight out of Ben Burtt’s library.

I can’t understand what the deal is. I recently re-watched all of the original movies. Between those, the “Clone Wars” series and the “Knights Of The Old Republic” videogame, there is a large of amount of exciting material and great stories. How come the these two newest movies suck? It’s not like their aren’t people who can tell awesome Star Wars universe stories. How can the “official” ones be so bad?

I watched the “Return Of Darth Vader” documentary on the fourth disc of the new Star Wars DVD boxed set. I found myself getting excited about “Star Wars” again. I thought back to that night that my parents took me to see “Star Wars” in the theater. (You won’t get me calling it “Episode IV” even if it was always in the yellow text crawl. And while we’re talking about name changes, it’s just “Raiders Of The Lost Ark”. Ok?) I was nearly 4 years old and I had to pee really bad, but I didn’t want to miss anything. Finally I couldn’t hold it anymore and I ran out of the theater to find the bathroom during the Mos Eisley Cantina. On my first viewing I missed the now controversial Han–Greedo scene. But I’ve seen the movie possibly 50 times since then, I can tell you without a doubt that Greedo shoots first.

I remembered the Sunday after church when my dad sat my brother and I down and started talking about how he was thinking it was interesting that the pastor was talking about the good angels and bad angels. And how the bad angels were cast out of heaven and the strongest among them became Satan. And wasn’t that like how Darth Vader who used to be a good Jedi, turned to the dark side? And hey, who’s up for going to see “Empire Strikes Back”?

I remembered sitting in my third grade class the day after the “Time” magazine exclusive on the new third movie in the series. Several of us brought copies in and the entire class was passing them around looking at the pictures of the big slug guy and all those other monsters—kind of like the Cantina but even cooler. And Han. What was going to happen to Han? Last time we saw him he was frozen in carbonite. How was he ever going to get out? My friends, Eric, Dan and I were determined to get our parents to let us skip a day of school and take us to the movies so that we could see “Return Of The Jedi” as soon as possible.

After watching Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen train for their epic battle and the prop department create the new Darth Vader helmet, I found that my heart was racing and I was breathing hard. This could be really cool, right? This is it. This is where Vader, the ultimate bad guy, is born. I really hope that “Revenge Of The Sith” will capture the adventure of the original movies—the adventure that “Clone Wars” and “KOTOR” tapped into. Unfortunately, in my heart of hearts I don’t think it will and that makes me sad.