Once upon a time, way back in 2003, a great adventure took place. It was a dark time in Star Wars. No, not for the lack of Star Wars content like we had in the late 80’s and early 90’s. This was far, far worse. It was the time of the prequels. OK, they were not all that bad. There were some cringeworthy moments for us all. As an adult who was seven in 1977, I’ve since made peace with the prequels, for the most part. Some things from that era are better than others. One such nugget of geek goodness is the original animated Clone Wars.
Wikipedia’s entry contains all the dry facts.
Star Wars: Clone Wars is an American animated microseries created by Genndy Tartakovsky, set in the Star Wars universe. Chronologically, the series fills the three-year gap between prequel films Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. The show follows the actions of various characters from the Star Wars prequel trilogy; notably Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mace Windu, Yoda, and other Jedi Knights during the conflict, leading the clone trooper forces of the Galactic Republic against the battle droid armies of the Confederacy of Independent Systems and the Sith.
Clone Wars was produced by Cartoon Network Studios in association with Lucasfilm Ltd., and was aired on Cartoon Network in 25 chapters from 2003 to 2005. The first two seasons, comprising Volume One, were produced in a two- to three-minute "micro" format, while season three was produced as fifteen-minute episodes making up Volume Two. Both volumes were later released on home video edited as feature-length films. Since release, it has received critical acclaim and won multiple awards.
Now for the wet opinions.
This method of serializing the story over two years in three minute (or so) increments was novel and refreshing. It left you wanting more! The series also bridged the gap between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. The programing was one of my favorite things on the Cartoon Network and is still fun to watch from time to time. The style of story telling suites today’s tastes for clipped, short info bursts. When watched all together it makes for an action packed saga. If you have not seen this one then do yourself a favor and check out the video bellow. It runs a bit over two hours and is well worth the watch. You can probably still purchase the DVD on Amazon, but don’t quote me on that.
So the Clone Wars will wrap up loose ends in this last season, supposedly, on Netflix. Does this mean I am going to fire my old NF account back up just to bask in all of the Clone Wars Nerdly Glory? Nope. I really want to see it but not bad enough to rejoin a service that has been a slow-to-grow let down. I’ll find other avenues to watch the show. Perhaps if they offered more than just that then I may be enticed to return but until then I just can’t go back.
I really am surprised and a bit disappointed that Disney XD didn’t step up and offer up 30 minutes a week to air the program.
I wrote my obligatory rant about CN yanking BTB from its line-up (just like Young Justice & Green Lantern last October, 2012) on Rob’s iO9 entry but now I am bring it to my own blog. I read in the other ranting comments that Cartoon Network is more concerned with a demographic that is far bellow the 18 year old range. I am not sure why that would be true. It would seem far more logical that they would want to produce something that the whole family would enjoy. Besides some of the characters and situations are not really that fit for younger viewers. My own observations have been that if a program is solid and ties together with one sub-plot or another, in other words you have to have some sort of recall beyond that of a fruit fly, then that show is far to complicated and must be canceled.
So what is the motivation for Cartoon Network to continually alienate their viewers? I don’t have a clue. I’d wager that this is a mystery the Dark Detective, himself, couldn’t solve.
Don’t mind me, I just going to sit here and eat my own words. I had a few derogatory things to say about “Beware the Batman” over the last, well ever since I saw the pic of Alfred brandishing guns. I was also a little bat-hurt that my Silver Age Fan Fest, Bat-Man the Brave & the Bold, was canceled and that added to my suspicion of the coming change that would be Beware the Batman. Don’t get me started on Young Justice, Green Lantern or even Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes since I still and a huge Dark Side RAGE on over their being yanked, unceremoniously. Oh yes, I digress.
Where was I? Still eating my words, of course.
Beware the Batman is, simply put, an awesome new take on the Dark Knight in his earlier days as a crime fighter. It began strong and ended stronger. The new character designs, which in small stills seem odd and out of place, flow well with the fast action pace.
Alfred is a retired operative from British Military Intelligence and is a wonderful, fresh take on the character. While Bruce is just getting to know the Batman. He is a little brash and cocky but he seems to be learning a lesson, bruised bodies and egos are great teachers. We’ve only had a glimpse of Katana. Why are they using Katana? No clue but time will tell and if this first episode is any indicator… it will be a heck of a tale. With a new Rogues Gallery, who can we expect to drop in unannounced and will we get to see any of the old heavy hitter villains?
Bottom Bat-Line, I dig the new take. It has everything that makes Batman, Batman, yet it is so different that it adds to the mythos of the Bat. I’ll be making an effort to catch this show each week, same Beware the Bat-time, Same Beware the Bat-channel.