Tuned In

Clone Wars Returns, With a Bounty of Hunters

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Cartoon Network / Lucasfilm

Cartoon Network / Lucasfilm

It’s a big news day, at least for the Tuned In Jrs.: Cartoon Network has announced an Oct. 2 return date for Star Wars: The Clone Wars, its animated series. The new series actually has its own subtitle, Rise of the Bounty Hunters, and will focus on—well, you can figure it out. Folks like the man with the hat here, Cad Bane.

I absolutely hated last year’s Clone Wars movie and was cool on the series at first, but it’s grown on me—partly, I’ll admit, from the force of repeated screenings by the Tuned In Jrs. What has been disappointing in recent Star Wars films works just about right for a kids’ action-oriented serial: it doesn’t matter so much here that, say, Anakin is woefully underdeveloped as a character for a tragic protagonist. For one thing, the episodes jump among a vast number of existing and new Jedi and other Republic heroes. And it’s easier to simply enjoy the impressive animation and the action stories, which play like old-time cliffhanger movie serials.

Is the series a match for the original Star Wars trilogy? Of course not, and it doesn’t need to be. Taken on their own terms, its rich visuals and swashbuckling drama are probably a better fit for George Lucas and company’s present interests and ambitions, anyway. If you can accept that at this point Star Wars is essentially a marketing platform for games and merchandise anyway, Clone Wars does a good job putting the action in action figure.