George Lucas did not rape my childhood. Or, in my case, my teenage years.
Don't get me wrong, he didn't do me any favors with the prequels, but they never took away from the experience of the original trilogy for me. The one interesting thing the prequels did in fact do was provide a little extra resonance to the originals. When Darth Vader makes his first appearance in Episode IV, suddenly there is even more weight to the moment now that we've witnessed his rise and fall. So that aspect of the prequels is pretty cool.
It also has nothing to do with this column at the moment. This one's about Clone Wars. .
When I first heard about the new animated series, I responded with a literal and figurative roll of the eyes. "Just George wringing a few more dollars out of the franchise via a new toyline based on the series," I told myself. And as more details came out about the show, the more pointless it seemed. We know where everybody ends up, we know that any conflict between, say, Anakin and Count Dooku will go unresolved until Episode III, so where's the drama? Plus, who needs 50 hours of our heroes battling endless armies of droids?
The announcement that the series would kick off with a theatrical movie really didn't make me feel any better. Until I saw the trailer. Suddenly I found myself slightly...intrigued. So on opening night I took my 16-year-old son, my 12-year-old nephew and was accompanied by one of my closest friends, with whom I had seen Star Wars during its original theatrical run in 1977.
Strangely enough, he and I found ourselves laughing at certain moments, simultaneously realizing that we were getting the opportunity to see Anakin Skywalker as a heroic Jedi before his ultimate descent. At key moments we leaned over to say, "That was cool!" By the time it was all over, we were feeling pretty good about Clone Wars. The trick for both of us, I think, was to keep in mind that this was a movie for kids, with broader humor and a built-in limitation to the darkness it could focus on.
In the end, both of us were feeling pretty impressed with the final results and began talking about the potential of the series. Then I turned to my son and nephew to see how they felt about it. it. The 16-year-old more or less shrugged, which seemed to convey more than words. I next turned to my 12-year-old nephew who had a look of dismay on his face. I asked him what was wrong and he pointed to the now-blank screen, annoyed, proclaiming, "It's a kid's movie!"
At that moment I wasn't sure whether to feel really old or incredibly immature — Edward Gross