If I didn’t lose you in Part 1… WELCOME BACK!
For Part 2, I’m discussing the animated world of Star Wars. I’m making the case that the animation world mirrors what was discussed in the previous post. I’ve got a bad feeling about this…
Star Wars animation has been the shining star in the galaxy since “The Clone Wars” was released. It filled in the storyline, developed characters and introduced us to new ideas, worlds and even plains of existence. The incredible storytelling had us coming back to each new episode despite knowing the eventful outcome of our Jedi friends. TCW was the first animated Star Wars series that had substance and wasn’t just a hodgepodge of mayhem with a happy ending. (Although, I’m always down for a happy ending.) When we thought it was finished a few years ago, there really was a sense of “Well, damn. That sucks.”
But we were quickly met with a new batch of characters with the introduction of “Rebels.” At first, I didn’t know that I needed this show. I was still mourning the loss of TCW to fully immerse myself. The animation style was fine, but it lacked the depth that the CGI we became accustomed to seeing. I got over all these things about halfway into the first season because of the same principles as TCW; developed characters, introduced new ideas and worlds and fit into a storyline/era that I longed to explore or revisit. Star Wars animation struck gold again.
Then, as if sequel trilogy curses were queued up in anticipation, Disney released, “Resistance” which wasn’t an apt name for the series. The title “Rebels” married the series well because it was within the beginning of the rebellion. With a tittle like “Resistance” where was the drama, the friction, the hunger to stand your ground? I guess you could say that I had great resistance in watching it, so I guess it related. I had to force myself to sit through two seasons of a show that added nothing to Star Wars canon. The previous series all filled gaps in the timeline whereas this was an animated series in the line of dare I say, “Droids”…
It’s as if Disney figured all we have to do is have Poe and BB-8 hand it off to a new character and we’ll have gold. Why? Why break the strategy of compelling characters and good storytelling?
The lack of a coherent sequel trilogy lead to a lack of how to incorporate an animated series into its timeline. It could have informed us how Rose would become promoted although the Rose-haterz would have revolted. It could have centered around Maz and how she got the lightsaber. Both of those I would have been curious about watching because it fit into the current story we were figuring out on the large screen. Instead, we got a low-quality animated series about a kid no one really gives two fucks about because there’s no real connection to the bigger scheme of canon.
My conclusion is simple. The original and prequel trilogies had an overarching storyline which made them successful. The sequel trilogy didn’t have that cohesion, so it fell apart. Because of those two successes and one failure, the same result happened for the animated series. The two animated series within the OT/PT eras had substance available to further the storytelling and be successful. Because the ST was all over the place, “Resistance” was placed in a timeline with no food for further thought.
Catch you Friday for the final installment; Television. I swear this next one will be more uplifting!