Confirmed: Lucasfilm Animation to ‘wind down’ The Clone Wars, postpone Detours, planning new series

TCW

StarWars.com has confirmed yesterday’s report, more or less. Lucasfilm Animation is going to “pursue a new direction in animated programming.” This is intriguing:

We are exploring a whole new Star Wars series set in a time period previously untouched in Star Wars films or television programming. You can expect more details in the months to come.

As for The Clone Wars, they’re going to “wind down the series,” and continue production on “new Clone Wars story arcs.” So sounds like we haven’t seen the last of the series, even as it’s ending.

TCW-dave-filoni-6announceLooking at the announcement closely, they don’t call the “wind down” season six, but instead call it “bonus content” which means that probably we may not see the entire season’s worth of episodes, but simply several story arcs that are either the best material or the ones already furthest in the pipeline.

In the announcement, there’s a video with Dave Filoni discussing the future of the show, saying “the best is yet to come”, and brings out a long video clip of an upcoming story arc that focuses on clone programming, Order 66, and the return of the spidery Admiral Trench.

TCW-6-trench-66

As for Detours:

Detours was conceived and produced before we decided to move forward with the new Star Wars trilogy, and in the wake of that decision, Lucasfilm has reconsidered whether launching an animated comedy prior to the launch of Episode VII makes sense. As a result, we’ve decided to postpone the release of Detours until a later date.

Well, not going to cry over that one, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see whatever’s been completed pop up as specials somewhere.

23 thoughts on “Confirmed: Lucasfilm Animation to ‘wind down’ The Clone Wars, postpone Detours, planning new series

  1. MattDoc

    This should do quite a number on ticket sales for Celebration Europe unless they can start getting some really great news and guests related to the new films.

  2. Annalee

    I hope they mean they’re giving Clone Wars a chance to wrap up, rather than just finishing the eps that were already in the pipeline. They’ve had a great run–it’d be nice if they could finish with some closure.

    But hey, at least fans of animated shows with fabulous female characters still have Korra to look forward to.

  3. jawajames

    Annalee, my thoughts on wrapping up: while they might pick off the ones closest to completion as easy pickings, my guess is that they will also pick some of the best stories to finish, especially if they advance the storyline toward Ep III. not sure what that means for Ahsoka, though having something for her will be important.

  4. Aaron

    @MattDoc: I’m still looking forward to seeing Filoni there. After all, where else could I meet him to get my Kim Possible DVDs signed. :D

    @Detours: “Postponed” means “dead in the water”, doesn’t it? Personally, at least, I can’t imagine them either releasing an outdated show at some later point or updating it when the sequels are done.
    Farewell, Detours, we hardly knew thee.

  5. Stooge

    What a bummer. In terms of both storytelling and production value, the show hit a real high over the past two seasons. I respect Dave Filoni for being a team player, but c’mon. They’re cutting it down in its prime.

    My theory, based on nothing but instinct: Lucasfilm Animation is not long for this world. As part of LFL, it’s unique… as part of Disney, it’s probably a big unnecessary expense. Maybe we’ll see Detours at some point down the road, but only after production has fully shifted to Disney. Look at the announcement again… it reads like an obituary for Lucasfilm Animation.

    (And notice that the announcement doesn’t say that the new series will be animated. It could very well be referring to the long-gestating live-action series, which after all is set in an untouched time period.)

    But still: this is a shame. There are so many loose threads in TCW (Darth Maul’s new role, Boba Fett’s evolution, the fates of Ahsoka and Ventress and Rex, and more) that I simply can’t imagine everything will get the send off it deserves. And that Trench clip showed how the series was constantly adding new layers, always moving forward. TCW obviously intended to keep going, too. Now it won’t.

  6. Greg

    As much as I don’t like this news, I’m at least glad LFL went ahead and made a statement, rather than leaving us to continue speculating. A lot of other shows have ended with less fanfare.

    And yes, it feels very weird to think of *The Clone Wars* as ending. I’m only now realizing how lucky we’ve been to get new SW content on TV on a regular basis for the past five years.

  7. Ryan M.

    Well, like I said in the earlier post, as long as we get the rest of the content they’ve deemed as showable.

    And it’s obvious (I think) that this is a silent confirmation of the live-action series that we’ve been teased about for quite some time. I’ll take that for sure.

  8. Matthew Rushing

    I’m not going to rant, but I am going to say that this brings sad feelings to my heart. The Clone Wars has kept the fire of Star Wars for the last five years and has stoked it to a level that has not been seen since….. Young and old have celebrated new characters as well as old friends, it is a shame that Disney and the powers that be will not be continuing with this show. They have so many good stories left; as is evidenced by the last season. Here’s to hoping that the final “Bonus Content” will be a fitting end to one of Star Wars greatest chapters. Thank you to all involved and MTFBWY……always

  9. Ryan M.

    @Stooge: If you read it on the star wars website, it does say ” Lucasfilm has decided to pursue a new direction in animated programming. We are exploring a whole new Star Wars series set in a time period previously untouched in Star Wars films or television programming. You can expect more details in the months to come.” The first sentence not being quoted in the above article.

  10. Annalee

    not sure what that means for Ahsoka, though having something for her will be important.

    This, basically. I want to see her pony farm.

  11. Stooge

    Ryan, I read it. I also read between the lines. I hate to sound so cynical, but a “new direction” could easily mean shuttering Lucasfilm Animation. And nowhere does it say that the new series will necessarily be animated.

  12. Stephen

    TCW is something that I’ve never been able to follow as it airs on TV, even though I’ve wanted to. I’m sad to see it end but I’m hoping that somehow it ends up on Hulu, or Netfilx (I know Disney has some sort of deal in place with them beginning in a couple of years) or something to that effect. I feel like I’ve missed a major part of Star Wars these last few years.

  13. Greg

    The StarWars.com mainpage calls the mystery series “an exciting new animated project,” so I guess that settles it.

  14. Jason Ward

    This was my favorite show. This is too bad. I’m sure I’ll like the new show as well. However, if we don’t get to see this one through, my confidence in a new show seeing itself through will be shaken.

    Rex is great. Everyone digs him for the most part. He deserves a capstone story.

    If they end The Clone Wars well, it will allow fans to accept their new content with open arms instead of being suspicious of it.

    Right now I’m just really bummed they didn’t allow them to finish this on TV.

    The Ahsoka movie was great. But what about Rex, Maul, arrested Separatists Leaders, and on and on.

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  17. TitaniumWookie

    Stooge, I think you’re right. Shutting Lucas Animation makes a lot of sense. It also makes sense to take story control away from the people that are currently doing it. Take the clip from above: here’s a jedi fighting hard deflecting blasters from everywhere and a clone walks up to her, holds a gun at her and she just lets him shoot her. I like the show but only because I love star wars. I always have to hold my nose for the writing.

  18. Sean

    Maybe the live-action TV show scripts are going to be animated? That would be cool. I’m wondering if maybe we’ll be getting another Clone Wars film, the conclusion with all the remaining arcs crammed together. Even if it was just released on TV and/or video, I’d be down with it. Perhaps we’ll be seeing Ahsoka in a live action film. That would be so cool!

    1. Dunc

      I can’t see Disney going for something as dark as they implied the live-action was going to be for a cartoon. Hell, if it really is HBO dark they’ll have to tame it quite a bit to even get it to the level of, say, Once Upon a Time. Of course, they could use pieces of it for whatever.

      But I suspect they’ll go for something more OTish than TCW was, something that could easily move into the ST era. Maybe it’s time to start lobbying for an Rogue Squadron cartoon. ;)

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