Tuned In

Another Attack of Clones, and the Star Wars Generation Gap

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Some posts at Tuned In I do to serve a wide audience. Some I do to serve niche fan groups. And some I do simply so that the Tuned In Jrs. will have a reason to read their Dad’s blog. This is one of them: season 3 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars returns to Cartoon Network September 17.

As I wrote last year, as bad as the animated Clone Wars movie was, I’ve really come to like the series—on its own action-adventure terms—as it has developed and found its voice. But the persistence of the series raises a question about the balance of the Star Wars franchise. Namely, the prequels now dwarf everything else like the Death Star dwarfs the Millennium Falcon.

Just in terms of sheer canonical story, there is now far, far more “prequel” material (i.e., anything taking place before episode IV) than there is material of the post-episode III, Darth Vader era. That is, the stuff that the parents of Clone Wars watchers really like. (It’s possible that the Star Wars novelizations may do something to correct the prequel-sequel balance, but having been forced to read one once, I have no desire to look closely enough to check.)

A while ago on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart interviewed George Lucas and told a story that I suspect rings true to a lot of parents of roughly my generation. Stewart was talking Star Wars with his son, who told him that his favorite Star Wars movie was The Phantom Menace. Stewart’s reaction: “No, it’s not! Your favorite movie is A New Hope!” (Credit to him for being willing to say this in front of Lucas.)

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Well, too bad: the prequels are now the bulk of what Star Wars is today. I, like Stewart, have resigned myself to this generation gap (although at least the Tuned In Jrs. like the original trilogy well enough too). I have even grown to enjoy the Clone Wars series. But it looks like the prequels have subsumed the franchise for the foreseeable future. We may as well get used to living with an imbalance in the Force.