The 1995 THX VHS collection was magical to me. By then I was a bit older, a teenager now, who was still obsessed with these three movies and the ideas of magic and wonder from this universe George Lucas created. I had collected figures, playsets, old marketing materials, and original soundtracks on vinyl. These new tapes weren’t adding anything new. The sound and visuals were cleaned up, and they were light years ahead of what I had been watching, three VHS tapes recorded from HBO in the late 80’s. What I loved most here were the Leonard Maltin interviews with George Lucas before every tape. Here I got a glimpse into the mind of the man who created Star Wars. I took in every word and marveled over what he said when reflecting on his greatest achievement.
All of this, we would later realize, was a testing ground for the biggest announcement to come out of Lucasfilm in over a decade, a brand new trilogy of movies. The world then became over-saturated with Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace merchandising. Star Wars was officially back.
A couple of years later I slowly started getting back into Star Wars. I picked up a copy of Knights of the Old Republic and played that. I enjoyed it so much that I watched Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Then I started reading more of the books. That’s when a friend introduced me to something I didn’t think I would ever enjoy, an animated Star Wars show called Clone Wars.
There was something magical about this show, something that the two prequels so far lacked. As my father would say, “those movies didn’t have any oomph.” The show was daring. It took crazy risks, venturing down avenues the movies wouldn’t dare cross. The creators were given carte blanche to do whatever they wanted with it. Some of it seemed a bit ridiculous, like Mace Windu taking out an entire droid brigade without a lightsaber. If this were possible the Battle of Geonosis would have been over much earlier.
Each episode was around three minutes long, but they were three minutes of sheer amazement and wonder. The animation was so beautiful that it holds up to this day. Some episodes had very little dialogue. They didn’t need it. Space battles, lightsaber fights and ground assaults were what my tiny brain yearned for at the age of six. I wanted this instead of Ewoks hanging out on Endor, or C-3PO and R2 fighting The Great Heep. We also got to see other Jedi do battle who weren’t named Skywalker or Kenobi. Kit Fisto, Shaak Tii, Aayla Secura, and Voolvif Monn all made featured appearances on this show. This was the first time I’d seen anything like that on screen. Sure, they’re all covered in the books, but A. no one read those, and B. they aren’t necessarily visual.
Other things shown in this series were the knighting of Anakin Skywalker, and C3PO getting his gold plating. It was said that since he was in the service of a Republic senator he should look more presentable. The show also further explored the cloak and dagger-ness that Anakin and Padme had to employ in order to keep their marriage a secret. This was completely opposite to the Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith where they are just openly living together and it seems like everyone knows.
Then season 3 of Clone Wars began and it was taking the same beats as the book. Oh, my! It was so good. It even shows the tail end of the book where Mace Windu force crushes General Grievous before he takes off with the chancellor. This was also the reasoning behind Grievous having a bad cough at the beginning of Revenge of the Sith. I actually got very annoyed when they retconned this in later seasons of 2008’s Clone Wars. He’s coughing throughout the whole show!
I camped out overnight to get tickets
to Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Sure, online ticketing
was already a thing, but I always felt camping out was a rite of passage
for any true Star Wars fan. This may still be the case, as I heard of
people camping out for Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise of
Skywalker.Nevertheless, it was a thing I had always wanted to do, but
something I never got to do until ROTS. This movie was probably the best
of all the prequels and a solid entry into the Star Wars saga.
I'm 41 now and still love Star Wars, even though Disney has done their best to butcher it. I don't keep up with the books as much as I did before, but that's only because there are so many coming out at such a rapid fire pace. I've attended a few Star Wars museum shows and I'm always ready when a new video game or show comes out. I still love the franchise and one day I'll visit the Star Wars Galaxies thing at Disney. I found out recently that Disney Plus now has the 2003 Clone Wars show available to watch. I'm happy, because it's so good, and so many people should really watch it at least once in their lives. The Ewoks and Droids show are also on there, but we're not gonna talk about those. Ha.