Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Star Wars Returns to Theaters

I wouldn’t be a Star Wars fanatic if I wasn’t overjoyed that a full-length computer animated feature film based on the Clone Wars is making its way to theaters on Friday, August 15, 2008. While this is hardly new territory—having already been fully explored previously in Expanded Universe novels, comic books and the Genndy Tartakovsky animated shorts—this theatrical release of Star Wars: The Clone Wars could lead to future animated Star Wars films that delve deeper into eras in the timeline not yet explored on film.

According to the official announcement, which can be read on StarWars.com, the film precedes a full-length animated series that will premiere in the fall on Cartoon Network.

"I felt there were a lot more Star Wars stories to tell,” creator George Lucas says in the announcement. “I was eager to start telling some of them through animation and, at the same time, push the art of animation forward.” While not directing the film or the upcoming series, Lucas will act as executive producer on both.

The animation is not dissimilar from the stylized look of the Cartoon Network Clone Wars shorts, and is set to feature many of the same characters featured in that series. Yet, judging by the limited material released thus far (including a trailer, also available at the official site), this film and series will not retread those events.

Of course this is all great news, and will ensure that Star Wars remains firmly planted in the pop culture lexicon for the foreseeable future at least until the live-action television television show premieres. But are we really clamoring for yet another series based on a time period in-between two films we’ve already seen? If Lucas and the folks at Lucasfilm are so fascinated by the Clone Wars, why weren’t they the focus of the prequel trilogy? This series just may remind us just how uneventful those films really were.

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