Growing up, the original “Star Wars” trilogy was about as close to a religion as I had in my decidedly agnostic household. I still have vivid kindergarten-age memories of utterly reveling in unforgettably extraordinary sights like the gripping sail barge ruckus above the gaping maw of the loathsome Sarlaac pit, the thundering attack of the AT-AT walkers on Hoth and the climactic Death Star assault when Luke finally learned to “Use the Force.” And the grisly sight of the charred remains of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru probably afforded me my first genuine (non-Disney) encounter with the gruesome realities of death.
Suffice it to say, George Lucas and his amazing universe had a very significant impact on the trajectory of my life and is at least partly responsible for me writing articles such as these. Thus, please feel free to forward any hate mail to him.
Now, with that out of the way, I’ve also come to the point in my life when I recognize that the future of “Star Wars” is unlikely to inspire much passion from me anymore. No, this isn’t another case of retroactive “Prequels” hate (I enjoyed them, warts and all), but rather fall-out from sitting through the animated “Clone Wars” feature-film from a couple of summers back. After wearily enduring 90-minutes of tedious, never-ending, drama-free droid battles, witless jailbait Jedi banter and cringe-inducing references to Jabba’s son, “Punky muffin,” I realized my glorious time with the franchise had likely ended. It now belongs to a new generation of hungry space cadet kids to derive empowerment and imaginative day-dreams from.
Which is why I was less than moved by the recent splashy news, revealed by Lucasfilm Director of Fan Relations Steve Sansweet –and transcribed by Geek Tyrant – at the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo (C2E2), that another animated TV series will be coming down the pike shortly. However, rather than existing within the world of the “Prequel Trilogy,” like the current “Clone Wars” Cartoon Network show, this new (possibly comedic) venture will take place after the remarkable events of “Return of the Jedi.”
If you listen carefully, you can faintly hear millions of “Expanded Universe” authors crying out in terror and outraged protest.
Perhaps most chilling of all, though, was Sansweet’s sly hint that “not everyone who dies in sci-fi stays dead… *insert ominous music here*”
Putting all arguments about whether “Star Wars” should be categorized as sci-fi or not aside, this vaguely troubling insinuation better just mean that Boba Fett will be making a return appearance, as he already has in a dozen spin-off comics and novels, and not that major players like Palpatine or, God forbid, Vader will be rearing their Sith-tacular heads once more. I will accept Salacious Crumb (but not Jabba!) being resurrected, though. That little Lizard Monkey scamp slays me.
Despite the fact it’s doubtful I’ll probably ever tune in, I am a mite curious whether Lucas and his creative cohorts will see fit to pull any elements from Timothy Zahn’s absurdly popular post-“Jedi” novels into the fray. Could the blue-skinned, reptile-wielding Admiral Thrawn and Luke’s fiery love-interest Mara Jade finally be given a chance to enter into the official canon? Or how about Han and Leia’s three offspring Jacen, Jaina and Anakin? And how amazing would it be if they did an entire episode revolving around Bib Fortuna’s brain being transplanted into a robotic B’omarr monk body like in the short-story compilation “Tales from Jabba’s Palace?”
As well, in other recent “Star Wars” happenings, Sansweet also divulged a bit of info regarding the eventual release of “Episode I-VI” on blu-ray. As posted on IGN, he promised that the street-date for the six films “won’t be in the too distant future.” He also guaranteed “lots of extra material” for the die-hards. Hopefully for fans, this’ll mean that those deleted scenes of Biggs Darklighter on Tatooine will finally make it onto a home video release.
Of course, at this point, I’d trade in all the special features in the galaxy for some nicely remastered discs of the first three flicks in their original editions, pre-1997 “Special Edition” and 2004 DVD-release silliness. Is it too much to ask that we old duffs be able to watch the movies without hearing Temuera Morrison’s voice emanating from Boba Fett’s shiny grill? Needless to say, history has proven that I’d best not hold my breath when it comes to George Lucas making smart decisions concerning his early classic efforts.
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Follow Cam Smith on Twitter at http://twitter.com/camspcepisodes.