Thursday, 19 July 2018

Disney and Lucasfilm resurrect THE CLONE WARS for a new mini-series

In a surprise but welcome move, Lucasfilm and Disney are resurrecting The Clone Wars for one last huzzah, a mini-series that will tie in the incomplete series with the start of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

The Clone Wars was an animated series which ran for five seasons from 2008 to 2013. Set between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, it took a broad view of the war, switching between planets, groups of characters and timeframes with relentless energy. After a rocky start, the series garnered critical acclaim for its voice acting, the constantly-improving quality of the animation and for its increasingly accomplished storytelling.

The Clone Wars was abruptly cancelled whilst production on Season 6 was underway, leaving that series to air separately as a 13-part series on Netflix. Producer Dave Filoni was allowed to release animatics and materials detailing plans for the rest of the season, including a story arc that would reunite wrongfully-disgraced, ex-Jedi Ahsoka Tano with her former master Anakin Skywalker as they launched a military campaign to liberate Mandalore from ex-Sith apprentice Maul. This would lead directly into the events of Episode III.

Lucasfilm clearly hated leaving unfinished business behind, so this story is now being completed with a new Clone Wars mini-series that will air in 2019, with the original voice actors returning. More interestingly, it looks like this mini-series will be one of the launch shows for Disney's new adult-oriented streaming service in late 2019. Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars TV series and a new Marvel Cinematic Universe show will join it on the service, along with a formidable amount of Disney content (and, when the deal goes through, 20th Century Fox's utterly vast backlog of shows and movies that aren't licensed elsewhere).

This will fill a hole in the storyline that spanned not just the six seasons of The Clone Wars but the four seasons of recently-concluded sequel series Star Wars: Rebels, and leave the decks clear for the next animated series, Star Wars: Resistance, which will take place in the era of the new films and focus on Poe Dameron and his X-wing squadron.

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