Thursday, February 3, 2022


star wars television

As an '80s kid, Star Wars fanship was all about the movie theater experience of watching the original trilogy of films on the big screen during my youth. That was complimented by playing with Kenner action figures re-enacting your favorite scenes and imagining new adventures for the characters with the toys. All in all being a Star Wars fan was all about the movies back then.

Sharing my passion for Star Wars with my children though hasn't really been about the movies at all though. It has been about enjoying the Star Wars experience on television. They've grown up being excited each week when we spent time watching together as a family a new episode of one of the Star Wars animated series. The kids have gone from youngsters to teens watching The Clone Wars, Rebels and now the Bad Batch. My kids are more invested in the cartoon characters of Anakin Skywalker, Ezra Bridger and Omega than anyone from the movies.

star wars rebels

In fact, they've told me they don't even like the three "Disney" movies or any of the characters from those films. My son even describes the adventures of Rey, Finn and Poe as "just a money grab" and "those movies kinda suck."  Yet he is excited whenever a new episode of the live-action Mandalorian or Boba Fett tv show are released. With the success of these Disney Plus shows and future Star Wars movie releases in limbo, you have to wonder did Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrahams kill the future of the franchise when it comes to blockbuster theatrical releases? And if so, does it really matter with Star Wars having moved to new platforms for people to enjoy through streaming and video games?

Star Wars may be as popular as it has ever been based upon its television shows. While George Lucas prequel movies are still dreaded by many, the Clone Wars animated series have redeemed many of the characters from those movies. Darth Maul evolved into one of Star Wars best villains thanks to his role in Clone Wars and Rebels. When I think of Anakin Skywalker it isn't Hayden Christian's performance that comes to mind but rather the Clone Wars character voiced by Matt Lanter. And his padawan in Clone Wars, Ahsoka Tano has become a fan favorite with her own live action tv series on its way. She is more popular with my son and daughter than Princess Leia! 

darth maul

Clone Wars wasn't just sci fi fluff; it had stories with real plots to them complimented with great action. It was a show that adults could appreciate just as much as kids. My son and daughter loved watching this show just as much as I did. While my Star Wars fanship began with the movie A New Hope, theirs originated through watching Clone Wars with their dad every Saturday for a number of years.

It continued with Star Wars: Rebels which we would always make a special effort to watch together on Thursday evenings when new episodes debuted on Disney XD. This show provided them with new characters to embrace separate from anyone from the movies. Ezra orphaned by the Empire sending his parents to a prison camp discovers he has a connection with The Force. He meets up with a former Padawan orphaned from the Jedi Order by the Empire's purge. Together with other colorful characters they begin a Rebellion. 

star wars rebels

For my kids, not the new Disney movies but rather Rebels is the equivalent of what the original trilogy movies where for me. They are more excited about news of another season of the most recent Star Wars animated series, Bad Batch, rather than any announcements of new movies being produced. Bad Batch is further enhancing the cannon of the Star Wars television universe by connecting the time span between Clone Wars and Rebels. This follows a group of elite clone troopers finding their way through a changing galaxy at the end of the Clone Wars and protecting a very valuable and rare asset, Omega, a youthful female version of their kind.

disney plus

In addition to the animated series, we now have live action shows in the picture. The Mandalorian with Baby Yoda was fantastic! And it is incorporating elements of the animated series creating a television cinematic universe that while related to the movies can essentially stand on its own merits. Seeing Luke Skywalker, R2-D2, Ahsoka Tano, Cad Bane, Din Djarin and Grogu together merging cartoons, live action tv and movies in a chapter of the Book of Boba Fett was so incredible! I have to say Cad Bane is one of my favorite Star Wars characters overall so I was geeked to see him.

cad bane

cad bane

With Disney investing millions of dollars into promoting their Star Wars movie characters in The Last Jedi films and new theme park lands, the question is will there be a conflict with the television shows that seem to embrace George Lucas' vision of a galaxy far, far away versus these other films which really don't seem to have been very well liked by mainstream audiences. How will this impact the Star Wars Lands that at Disneyland and Disney World that are branded around the new movies' characters? Do you think we've seen the last of Rey and her Resistance allies? 

Is the future of Star Wars stories now going to be television focused based upon a new generation of fans like my own children who are more invested in them or is there a future filled with new theatrical movie releases? Where do you see the franchise headed when it comes to future Star Wars adventures? 

luke skywalker

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