Back when The Clone Wars was first cancelled, the animatics from an arc entitled The Bad Batch released on StarWars.com. Here we had four super commandos on a mission with Anakin and Rex to stop a Separatist plot that is allowing them to gain a major advantage in the war. It was an enjoyable arc, but there was nothing really special about Clone Force 99 – otherwise known as The Bad Batch.
When it was announced that The Clone Wars would be returning for a final season, The Bad Batch was one of the first confirmed for it. A number of changes were made for the arc that made it feel more impactful, but still the Bad Batch had little character focus. I still loved them, but that lack of focus made them feel like any other squad – particularly when you’ve got Rex and Echo in the spotlight.
They were never meant to be the focus, though. They served as an introduction. An introduction to a series that put the focus on them. When that first announcement was made, there was a lot of uncertainty about how good it would be. The Dark Times and the immediate aftermath of Order 66 is something that hadn’t before been explored in this new canon, which we would now see. But how good would the series be with a squad of clones that many disregarded?
The year was 2003. Attack of the Clones had been out in theatres for a year, with the Clone Wars multimedia project already in full swing with the likes of The Clone Wars video game and Republic comic series, but 2003 was where it started to really take off. The first of the Clone Wars novels were releasing, and so too was this TV micro series at the end of the year.
Produced by Genndy Tartakovsky – of Samurai Jack fame, it had a runtime of 3-5 minutes per episode, with ten per season (which would be merged into volume 1 in later years. Showing off various battles of the Clone Wars, the focus would be on the Battle of Muunilinst that was headed by Obi-Wan and Anakin.
That first volume proved to be a success, with the third season bringing in a longer runtime per episode, but with a shorter episode count. While the first volume showed off battles happening near the beginning of the Clone Wars, the second continued the events of the first's finale, before enacting several jumps in time that leads into the events of Revenge of the Sith.
This is a surprise to be sure, but a welcome one. Disney has added a few of the old Star Wars classics to Disney+ under the label of Star Wars Vintage. Most of these are based on the original trilogy era with a particular focus on ewoks. To start with, though, I decided to take a look at something that could very well have remained lost to time – purely because of what it was attached to.
A year after the original Star Wars released, and during the making of The Empire Strikes Back, The Holiday Special arrived a week before Thanksgiving, and then was never broadcast again. The critics and viewers ripped into it as an experience, naming it as one of the worst things to have ever aired. But the one small light within this otherwise dark spot on the franchise was the animated short that featured within it.
While The Holiday Special might never see the light of day in an official capacity, the animated short has finally seen an official release on Disney+. The Story of the Faithful Wookiee is a small story featuring several elements that would make their way into The Empire Strikes Back. The main one being Boba Fett.
I’ve talked before about the current present of Power Rangers, how in recent times there’s been a lot of success with Beast Morphers, the comics, and even some mobile games. That article covered some game ideas I’d want to see in the future, whereas this one will be focused on a general idea of that future.
In the monthly update of this month, I mentioned an article from The Hollywood Reporter that also looked at the future of the franchise. That article was uploaded October, but I hadn’t seen it until recently. That article was focused upon the changes that have taken place in regard to who controls the franchise.
In summary, Hasbro’s eOne arm is taking the reigns of the series, with Jonathan Entwistle overseeing and directing the adaptations of both movies and television series. Within the interviews, it is stated how Entwistle has an incredibly creative vision for the franchise that will deliver new content to both new and existing fans across a connected world.
The sequel trilogy, despite being a fun watch, has grown ever the more flawed with each new film released in it. The Rise of Skywalker showing that the most. The lack of direction has hurt it, along with the fact there are massively obvious mirrors to the original trilogy. Some of those work, others not so much, and if you’ve read my review of The Rise of Skywalker, you’ll know of one mirror that I absolutely hate.
Everyone has their own ideas for what should have happened, and I’m no different. This article is going to detail all those ideas to create my own vision of a sequel trilogy within the Skywalker Saga, looking at the plot element within all three of the trilogy, then going a bit deeper with the main throughline of it. First, though, there needs to be the lead up to that point.
Celebrating The Clone Wars
If December 2007 was when I first got into Star Wars, and the first half of 2008 when I started to expand my knowledge of it, the latter half – especially November – was when I really started to enjoy it.
I was finding out about everything Star Wars around that time, revelling in the new discoveries, but it was something that had caught my eye while in Toys R Us that interested me most. A trailer of an animated Star Wars. That being The Clone Wars theatrical release.
I didn’t watch it in the cinema, nor did I really pay much attention to anything about it. Not because I wasn’t interested, but because I’d had little exposure to anything outside of the books and games. In fact, I’m pretty sure that Toys R Us visit was where I first got the DVDs of the original trilogy.
However, while on holiday in America in November, I watched a few episodes of the series, and my love of the The Clone Wars started. I didn’t follow everything about it, but from that point on I made a point of asking for the Complete Season DVD sets every Christmas, and each and every season I loved.
It’s been a long road of wondering just how a Sonic the Hedgehog movie would play out, and just what the focus of such a movie would be. As the years went on, we got some news and a trailer showing… the thing. But since the backlash and redesign, things have been feeling pretty positive for it.
Sure, it was probably never going to be a massive standout in terms of plot. Never breaking any ground or giving unexpected twists. But what is here is a joy to watch and gives plenty of action and laughs for an audience to experience. Even non-fans of Sonic can find things to enjoy about it.
The end of a trilogy and the end of the Skywalker Saga. Is it wrong for me to say the best thing to come from this new trilogy is a LEGO game that will contain all nine films for what sounds to be one of the greatest LEGO – and possibly Star Wars – games of all time?
I know that sounds like there’s nothing redeemable about the trilogy or this film, but that’s where you’d be wrong. I don’t hate The Rise of Skywalker, just as I don’t hate the Sequel Trilogy, but there has been a lot of missteps within the execution of all three films within it.
The Rise of Skywalker follows the trend of being good but not great. Sure, there’s plenty of great sequences and a load of character interactions that work, but it still cannot escape from the fact that it never seemed to have a coherent plan.
With Ice Age being my first movie on DVD in my own collection, it would only be a matter of time before that collection grew. Being young, there weren’t many opportunities to expand it, but over the years I amassed a great collection of movies. One of which was added early on and became a favourite of mine for a few reasons.
I had no experience of The Magic Roundabout series, with the movie being my first outing with the cast of animals, humans, and spring-things. It also became a way for me to be introduced to several music performers – with one of those bands becoming one of my greatest favourites.
The movie features two of those songs very close to each other. The opening credits – featuring Magic by Pilot. Then You Really Got Me by The Kinks, except this version being sung by two of the cast. It’s a fun take on the song, and in just that scene the character of all the cast is present.
A Look Inside the Morphing Grid – Samurai / Megaforce / Dino Charge [From 1/November-2018]
This is the end of A Look Inside the Morphing Grid, with three series being looked at. Samurai opens the Neo-Saban era, and manages to be good if mostly forgettable. Megaforce is meant to be a celebration of all of Rangers, but doesn’t go all-out in doing so.
And having seen unconnected episodes of Dino Charge before seeing all in order, I can say that it did enough to push through my original thoughts and actually impress me.
Samurai starts off a bit differently, as the opening two-part episode – Origins – is placed at the end of season one. That leaves the season to get straight into the focus episodes. In fact, it seems like the first half of the season is nothing but focus episodes on certain characters, putting such focus above the plot in some cases.