As a fan and supporter of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, I’ve been watching the momentum of the Save the Clone Wars movement. I’ve written my letters to Bob Iger and Kathleen Kennedy. I sent a few tweets for the twitter bomb led by Star Wars Underworld. I’ve told pretty much everyone I know connected with Star Wars or Lucasfilm how much I’ve enjoyed the show, how great I think the show is, and how I want it to continue. One of my reasons for the Team Hondo shenanigans was to drum up support for the characters of the show in a forum that Lucasfilm and fans alike would be watching.
Right now Save The Clone Wars is still pushing for Disney to magically hit the undo button, and un-cancel the show, bring back all the staff that was laid off and give us another season, and they point to how Kim Possible was given another season due to fan activism. I’d love for that to happen, but I think we need to be a little more pragmatic. My friend Bryan Young over at Big Shiny Robot points out that the smarter option may be to push for as much of ‘bonus material’ as possible – whatever that was made or in the pipeline for season six as we can get, which will hopefully be more than the two story arcs that was the rumor reported from TheForce.Net. I agree with him – we can’t get the show back on the air, but we can strive for as much of that season six content that was done/nearly done as possible.
Having a weekly twitter bomb? Maybe good for getting the word out, but I think there are more effective methods to reach Disney and Lucasfilm. Youtube video tributes? Meh. Letter campaigns are a stronger way to give the message – so long as everyone is on the same point. But really what would work – time to take a page from the playbook of some successful save-my-tv-show campaigns: express our love for The Clone Wars with our money. Here’s a few things that another fandom that I’ve belonged in has done to help keep flyin':
- Raise money to buy ad space that Disney will see. Let’s put a full page ad in Variety or some other industry periodical on a day that everyone will see it. Have a full press release and media contact ready to back up the ad. Yes, that means being organized, but it also will show “Hey, we’re organized”
- Organize charity screenings to show that people still want to see The Clone Wars. While the original film that kicked off the series was a little rough compared to the quality of the later seasons, it’s a film that can be requested for showings. Like the Browncoats’ “Cant Stop the Serenity” showings for Equality Now, if we put The Clone Wars on the big screen in theaters across the country on the same day, and get people to show up and pay to see it, the studios will notice.
- Video sales. The big kicker that perhaps helped Universal decide to turn a cancelled Fox show into a feature film was they noticed how well the DVD sales of that one-season show was doing. If you’re a fan of the show and can afford it, put your money where your mouth is. Own every season of the show on DVD or Blu-ray. Buy it for your friends. Buy it for every kid you’re stuck having to get a gift for. Buy copies to donate to your local library or send to the troops. Buy a second copy for yourself to loan to friends and family. And when season five comes out this fall on DVD and Blu-ray, let’s knock it out of the park, and keep it on the top ten bestseller list of Amazon and whatnot. It does get a little weird, since guess who is the distributor of the home video versions? Warner Brothers. So by buying the video releases, you’re showing Disney how much you’ll give money to one of their competitors for a product that Disney could sell to you, if only they continued making it. And if the ‘bonus content’ becomes available for separate purchase, buy it to show demand for more of it.
- Keep those letters going and find new fans and convince them to write.
Meanwhile, Season 5 of The Clone Wars has started airing in the United Kingdom. One of our readers pointed out that Cartoon Network UK just recently started broadcasting season five, and it seems to be playing nearly every day at 10:30 AM and 6:30 PM. While they’ve already started the season, they do seem to be re-playing episodes. Catch the start of season five ‘Revival’ on Sunday at 10:30 AM.