This week Michael and Bruce are joined by Writer James Swallow to talk about his work on Disney Infinity 3.0 James Wrote the story for the Twilight of The Republic campaign which also means he got to write for Fan Favorite Ahsoka Tano! Don’t miss out scoundrels download this awesome episode now!
Star Wars: The Clone Wars was an Emmy Award winning series which premiered in theaters on August 15, 2008 and subsequently on television on October 8, 2008. The series’ television run ended on March 2, 2013 with the conclusion to Season Five, before seeing a brief, 13 episode revival on Netflix on March 7, 2014.
The early story of The Clone Wars is one of highs and lows. Debuting in third place in its opening weekend, The Clone Wars brought in $14.6 million on its way to a domestic total of $35.2 million in its theatrical run. I remember walking out of the theater with my then roommate, and despite some high points we were rather disappointed in this new Star Wars movie. On the small screen The Clone Wars fared better premiering with 3.96 million viewers, a record for a series premiere on Cartoon Network at the time.
At the beginning, with the very stylized animation design used in the series, the rather obnoxious banter between Anakin and Ahsoka, and the relative lack of music of John Williams, The Clone Wars’ early days were filled with hits and misses. As the show evolved over the seasons it continued to improve each year, with animation, sound, story and acting all deepening as the show grew.
The interesting thing about The Clone Wars is that it was really a massive R & D project for Lucasfilm as well as a labor of love for George Lucas. Through The Clone Wars, Lucasfilm was able to develop a new branch of the company: Lucasfilm Animation. So without The Clone Wars a show like what we are to get in Star Wars Rebels wouldn’t be possible.
Having seen the premiere of Star Wars Rebels, I am confident in saying that we will get a show that is better than The Clone Wars in Star Wars Rebels. Here are nine reasons why.
1. The Empire is back
Love or hate the Prequel films, the truth is that the Empire has a much more compelling set of villains than the Separatists. The return of various types of Stormtroopers, TIE fighters, AT walkers, speeder bikes, Star Destroyers, and arrogant and capricious Imperial officers has me incredibly excited, more so than seeing legions of clankers.
This hearkening back to the Original Trilogy should also appeal to older fans like myself and help younger fans transition from The Clone Wars to the Original Trilogy, and then to Episode VII in 2015.
2. Chronological Order: “216, 116, T, 301, 303, 101…”
The Clone Wars was a show that was released in one order, but that order is not the same as the in-universe chronological order of the events in the show. For example, chronologically the series begins with Season 2 Episode 16, then Season 1 Episode 16, the film, Season 3 Episode 1, Season 3 Episode 3, and then Season 1 Episode 1.
Star Wars Rebels is beginning with the 1-hour premiere “Spark of Rebellion” and then continuing in order after that. This will make it much easier to follow the show, the character developments, and events in the world of Star Wars Rebels.
3. Everyman versus the Ruling Class
Much of the Prequels and The Clone Wars contained stories about the ruling elites of the galaxy far, far away. Sure, there were some episodes on remote planets and in the under levels on Coruscant, but for the most part we were dealing with the power players in the universe.
In Rebels we are focusing on a small group of outcasts in Hera, Kanan, Chopper, Zeb, Sabine, and Ezra. These are street level characters not dealing with the fate of the entire galaxy, but with the fates of their friends and neighbors. I can’t wait to see where they take the story of the population of Lothal as individuals oppose and support the Empire.
4. Opening Misfire
As I mentioned in the opening, The Clone Wars theatrical premiere was hardly the strongest set of episodes in the series, and was a rather unimpressive debut overall. On the other hand, the premiere of Star Wars Rebels while not perfect is an immeasurably better beginning to a show. If this is the quality of the show at the beginning, I cannot wait to see where it goes as the creators develop these characters further.
The Clone Wars matured into a very beautiful animation style, but it took a long while to get there. It is visually difficult to watch some of those early episodes after being spoiled with the later seasons. Star Wars Rebels has some interesting influences from Ralph McQuarrie and Disney’s Tangled. While there are budgetary realities that will mean there are likely fewer resources available to the team creating Rebels than was available for The Clone Wars, the experience working on the previous show and the advances in technology give the current creative team some real advantages. The animation style for Rebels is more accessible and palatable for casual viewers.
6. John Williams
On the musical front, Kevin Kiner who was responsible for the music in The Clone Wars returns, but his use and innovation based off of John Williams’ Star Wars scores is much more present in Rebels than it was in The Clone Wars. This tonal shift is important because it adds to the sense that Rebels feels more like Star Wars than The Clone Wars.
7. An Experienced Crew With Some Great Additions
A good portion of the crew that is working on Star Wars Rebels are, as Dave Filoni says, “veterans of The Clone Wars.” The experience of telling Star Wars stories from The Clone Wars seems to have given Filoni and his crew a greater mastery of not only the mythology of Star Wars, but also a better sense of what feels like Star Wars. Of course, the additions of Greg Weisman and Simon Kinberg as well as the work of folks from the Lucasfilm Story Group provides great quality storytelling experience.
8. Fewer Limits
The Clone Wars was set in a narrower period of time than Star Wars Rebels. Taking place between Episodes II and III, The Clone Wars dealt with some major and minor film characters from the Prequel Trilogy, a number of whom had fates that were fixed by those movies. While characters like Captain Rex, Ahsoka, Asajj, Cad Bane, and the resurrected Darth Maul evolved into major characters in the show with unanswered fates , we know the fate of many more of the characters seeing frequent screen time. There are also limitations on how characters can interact, for example Anakin and General Grievous based on dialogue from Episode III.
As Rebels begins we are dealing with an almost entirely new cast of characters. There are some first season cameos that were revealed in a trailer for the show, but the characters we are following around are all new, and we do not have any sense of what their fates will be before the events of Episode IV. I am very excited by what creative freedom this is providing for the writers of Star Wars Rebels .
9. A Core Group of Characters
One of the beauties of The Clone Wars was that we got to see a lot of different characters take the spotlight. If a certain character was not your favorite in a few episodes you wouldn’t be seeing them again. This allowed us to meet and get to know a number of really interesting characters, and I particularly enjoyed spending time with the Clones, Asajj, and Ahsoka. Of course this does make it harder for casual fans to jump on board to the show midstream, or to follow a particular characters story.
In Rebels we will be on the Ghost with Hera, Kanan, Chopper, Zeb, Sabine and Ezra and these will be the characters that we get to know and follow around. This will allow us to get to know these characters more deeply and quickly than we were able to do with many on The Clone Wars.
What are you looking forward to in Star Wars Rebels?
Clones Troopers, Cad Bane, Jedi Masters, Ahsoka vs Skyguy, and more, all on the next Star Wars Beyond the Films. YOUR Star Wars discussion podcast! YOUR ticket to the EU!
This week true believers, Beyonders, Fanboys, Fangirls, respected aliens around the galaxy, The Defender of the EU; Mark Hurliman, and your EU Guru; Nathan P. Butler, sit down to continue discussing The Clone Wars Season One. Strap in and tighten your crash webbing Fandom, Star Wars Beyond the Films is setting off on another rapid-fire trip into the galaxy far, far away!
Hunting For Fighter Pods
The month of September was spent looking for my new favorite line of Star Wars toys. The Star Wars fighter pods series is now in its 3rd wave as of this month in the United States. Series 1 originally was released in February of 2012 and the 2nd wave began hitting stores in August 2012. I began hunting them down in September and my quest was to find as many of Series 2 as possible before the month was out. I consider myself very lucky because I actually was able to get my hands on every figure that was not in a special exclusive pack.
In the midst of hunting down Series 2 I also was on a quest to complete my Series 1 collection. I was actually able to find the last set that I needed to complete the set of vehicle launchers, the Jedi Starfighter. I am missing a few figures from Series 1 still but not many. The one thing that is hindering that collection is the exclusive Darth Maul tin that can be found at Target. I have been looking at my Target stores but I have yet to find the tin. For obvious reasons the tin is needed so that I can complete the collection however, I really want the pack for the Darth Maul figures and Ziro the Hutt.
This is how I went about collecting Series 2. I first went out to a Target that I know does not get a lot of toy traffic just to see if they even had any fighter pods in stock on the shelf. To my surprise they actually had quite a few of the 4 packs. They did not have the blind mystery bags or any of the vehicle packs. So I grabbed a few and began checking them off of the checklist that they give you in the package. The next time I went out to get some I went to a bigger Target that was more likely to have more product but also gets shopped more. Turns out the selection was pretty sparse but they did have mystery bags, the 4 packs and that is where I found my series 1 Jedi Starfighter. I picked these up and was very excited to open the mystery bags. There are 6 exclusive figures in this wave that can be found in the mystery bags and I was fortunate enough to get 2 of these figures. I picked up 4 mystery bags and I got 2 exclusive figures. The 4 packs I got were mostly new figures but it was at this point that my duplicates started accumulating. I made a video to show the opening of the mystery bag figures and it can be found right here.
The next outing to find the ominous fighter pods was with my 11 year old nephew. We first went to Toys R Us and that was a pretty disappointing trip. Not only did they only have a few series 1 fighter pods but their selection of Star Wars merchandise was not that impressive. I have begun to really not hold much stock in Toys R Us or at least the one closest to me as it is always trashed and does not have much in stock. They did have the Ewok set though which I almost bought. My only reasons for not picking it up are because I am on a fighter pod only mission.
From here we went to a different Target and we were able to find a few 4 packs of Series 2 and the BARC Speeder Bike/Pirate Speeder Bike Pack. The next day and last day of the month I went one more time to one of the Targets I had been to already and I found a spectacular find, Series 3 mystery bags! There were only 2 but I was shocked and very excited so I picked them up and 2 more 4 packs.
These last 4 packs would complete the collection of individual figures with hologram Palpatine and a Shock Trooper. It is safe to say that the one major dealer I did not go to was Wal-Mart and had I gone to one I may have been able to find the other vehicle packs that I am missing and possibly more blind bags. I believe I am missing 8 figures in total from Series 2. The figures I am missing are exclusive to the vehicle packs and the mystery bags. I am also fortunate to have my hands on 4 figures from Series 3. All this means for me is that October may be a month of hunting down Series 3 and I am still looking for that Darth Maul Tin from series 1.
The most interesting thing I found with Series 2 was that there is a variant of Cad Bane. I first found out about this via Adam Pawlus at Galactic Hunter.com he posted some pictures of it so I knew to be on the lookout and I was actually able to get my hands on both versions.
It is still unclear if this was done on purpose but the version that has silver guns and silver bands on his hat was in a 4 pack and the version with black guns was in the speeder bike pack. However, I did see the Cad Bane with black guns in a 4 pack as well. If you can find both I would definitely try to get them both.
It was a fun month of hunting but it looks like I am in for another month of it with wave 3. I will keep you updated over at Fangirl Next Door with videos of my collection, pictures and updates. If you are looking for these cute little guys then happy hunting they sure are fun to knock over!
Star Wars nerd at heart and a pop culture fanatic. Fangirl blogger, movie and book reviewer. Avid reader and film goer.
I love penguins!