No, not the second installment of the Star Wars prequels (that’s Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones – or something of that sort.) What I’m talking about is a brand new CG half hour animated series set to debut fall, and which already has several dozen completed episodes for any willing hackers or George Lucas confidants information.

Those in the know (cough, Comic-Con people) have known about this for a while, but it’s flown pretty much under the radar. Originally billed as the successor to the hand-drawn animated silly Star Wars: Clone Wars (the new show is Star Wars: The Clone Wars – note the crucial lack addition of “the”) which aired on Cartoon Network, and is now being considered the pilot to the more mature (and theoretically, after nine o’clock Network TV) CG series.

If the trailer is any indicator Star Wars: The Clone Wars will treat its audience to lots of helter-skelter, storm-trooper oriented action which shows us impressively solid High-Definition animation that’s not at all unlikely to have people pointing out that it looks about as good as the CG for the prequel trilogy (or at least the first two films of it.)

Whatever hopelessly redundant criticisms of the prequel trilogy you might have (it’s over, okay?), after watching the trailer I’m fairly convinced that they can’t really mess up terribly with this series. Based on the trailer, Lucas and whoever Lucas has hired, knows how to do cool action and is giving it to us in spades.

Combine the pure entertainment to be found, with comments of it being a little bit outside of the box, pair that with references to the “history lesson” format of the Young Indiana Jones series, and what we should get is 22 minute episodes of cool Star Wars action sequences, which are “historical” in their chronicles of battle tactics and the general scale and scope of the war..

I must say that the trailer has awoken the inner boy within me, because _The Clone Wars_ (I’ll note the “the” one more time) really looks pretty good. Guess I’ll have to get out my toy lightsabers. A hundred episodes are planned, and around forty (two seasons worth – no less, with no distribution deal yet) have already been completed.

The Live Action Series, on the other hand, is supposedly making progress. Said to be the more ambitious of the two current series in active development, it will bridge the second big gap in the Star Wars mythology, the time between Episode III (the end of the prequel trilogy) and Episode IV (A New Hope.) Details have been pretty vague, tending to focus on big concepts which, as many people know, often time prove irrelevant and largely untrue once things actually get completed. The general idea is that it will focus on background, or never before seen characters, (with the exception of Anthony Daniels returning once again as C-3PO, and lots of hints to bounty hunters) and be an intense action-oriented show akin to Firefly and that space ship series on Sci-Fi.

What this all means in the end, I’m not sure. I feel confident to say Star Wars isn’t dead yet, and George Lucas is apparently banking on it with one series in the middle of production, and the live-action one gearing up – with no permission from any Networks of Television Moguls. But, still, I must say: I like his style.

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Tim Zila

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