Saturday, March 2, 2013

Saving the Clone Wars

As many of you have no doubt heard, the future of The Clone Wars isn’t looking that bright - either for the Jedi, or the fans camping out in front of their televisions every Saturday morning.

With the Disney acquisition, many logically assumed the long running animated series would move from Cartoon Network to Disney XD. Sources say that is far from a done deal, with many speculating that Disney is trying to slowly maneuver the franchise from the prequel era into something much closer to the original trilogy.

With the coming of Episode VII, this does make a certain amount of sense. Still, it doesn’t excuse the indefinite postponement of the 3D releases, and certainly not the failure to renew The Clone Wars. After all, this show has been Star Wars for five years running. I am a huge supporter of the series, and have been greatly honored to meet much of the talent behind it.

One of the highlights of Celebration VI last year was my friend and I passing Dave Filoni and Joel Aaron on the sidewalk outside our hotel. While I did have to actually be a fanboy and shake his hand later, at the time I just coolly remarked, “Mr. Filoni, Mr. Aaron.” And Filoni didn’t say a word, just slyly smiled and tilted his trademark hat in my direction. It was beyond epic.

I also had a great chat with James Arnold Taylor after the Closing Ceremonies. He was exhausted from being the main host, but as polite as Obi-Wan and Plo Koon mixed together. He actually stopped with his entourage to talk to me a few minutes after I thanked him for a job well done, and even handed me an autographed cereal box that he voiced the commercial for.

The same is true for Dragoncon. I’ve met the beautiful and talented Ashley Eckstein a number of times, as well as the incomparable Tom Kane. One of the best things about all of them is the kind of amazing ambassadors they’ve been to fandom, granting us an access to the world of the Wars in a way we’ve never had.

I also couldn’t resist handing them a couple of essays, one about Ashoka, and one about Yoda. I’m ashamed to say Ashley asked me two Dragoncons ago to write up an essay on the epic Mortis arc from season three, but I have yet to do so. Shameful, I know.

But alas, business is at hand. While I do want to whip up a post on the season five finale, for now, I’m going to chime in on the campaign to save the show. I don’t want my fandom card revoked, and very reliable sources such as Jimmy Mac of Rebel Force Radio and Bryan Young of Full of Sith are saying now is the time to make our voices heard.

Sigh. Personally, I’ve never had much luck with letter writing campaigns. To this day, I am absolutely convinced that if those clueless executives at FOX had actually bothered to read my five page essay to save the late great Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, the show would have finished its run. Still, I’m doing what I can, and so should you. Be nice, be polite, and voice your support for Filoni and the show. Now is the time, as Disney is cobbling together their fall schedule as I type.

(And the morons have already Order 66’d Tron Uprising, but don’t say I said that)

Personally, I would love to have The Clone Wars on Blu-Ray, but there are a lot of episodes finished and polished and ready to roll, and we don’t want the kids to miss out on their Saturday morning cartoons. And plus it might just disappear for a long time, which would be tragic after that sublime finale.

Actually, if I had my way, we would have a three or four part Clone Wars arc released in the theaters every month or so, but that isn’t going to happen.

This isn’t that great, but this is my letter to Bob Iger, address and all –

Mr. Bob Iger
Disney Studios
500 S. Buena Vista St.
Burbank, CA 91521

Dear Mr. Iger,

I would very much to congratulate you on the acquisition of Lucasfilm. After over thirty years of enjoying Star Wars, it is very reassuring to know that the saga will live on under the Disney banner. I know we all look forward to the stories that are yet to come, particularly the sequel trilogy.

I would also like to take this opportunity to express my support for The Clone Wars animated series. For the last five years, it has become an integral part of that galaxy far, far away. Not only has it brought in an entirely new generation of fans, it has also rejuvenated my own fandom. Particularly at a time when there was no new Star Wars on the horizon. I know countless fans online who feel the same way.

The show has become a landmark television event. Through the superb marriage of storytelling and brilliant visuals, it has truly found its place alongside the very best of the saga. The characters have taken on new dimensions through the medium of the show, as have the Clone Wars themselves. These are the stories fans have been hungering for since we first heard those mysterious words about being a Jedi Knight in the Clone Wars from Ben Kenobi in A New Hope all those decades ago.

The show has also become unique because of the talent that it has amassed under its banner. Supervising Director Dave Filoni has been a brilliant spokesman for Star Wars for years, sharing the passion and energy that we as fans do. As a longtime member of our ranks, he has been tremendously open and gracious to the community, as I found out when I got to meet him at Celebration VI last year. Actually, the entire cast and crew of the show have been tremendous, all serving as sublime ambassadors to the fans, a tradition that I hope to see continue.

In short, The Clone Wars has been a tremendous source of Star Wars, brilliantly executed week in and week out. To fail to renew the show would be a grave disappointment to the fans, and I want to give my support to everything they’ve done and everything they’ve promised to do. Please allow us to see the seasons already planned and filmed, not to mention allow the show-runners to end things on their own terms. Otherwise it would be a terrible disservice to not only those who have worked so hard on the show, but also to the fanbase.

Wishing you the best of luck with all those future Star Wars endeavors,

Paul F. McDonald

P.S. The 3D releases of Episode II and III would also be greatly appreciated.


  1. Thanks for doing your part. There's a lot of feels going on right now, most of them unpleasant.

  2. Thank you too, sir. As Amidala herself said in that deleted scene in Episode III, I can't believe it's come to this. Maybe some of the letters did some good. We'll see where that "bonus content" ends up.