Saving The Clone Wars

clone-wars-darth-maul_320As 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.

18 thoughts on “Saving The Clone Wars

  1. Jason Ward

    I agree with Bryan Young’s assessment on this. They’re clearly not interested in continuing the show, they have new plans, and I think that is fine. We just need the large loose ends cleaned up and bonus bonus content can do that. It would be cool to know if the new show is set in the preceding era, as that would allow for most lose ends to be tapered off still.

    If every year or so we had a Blu-ray release like they do with animated Batman stories, that would work fantastically.

    I’m starting a new career this summer as a teacher and I thankfully have a baby on the way (we’re about to hit twelve weeks finally!). I can only be so involved in something like saving The Clone Wars right now. But I can say, I would gladly donate to an ad campaign. I will buy all the bonus content. I own all the Blu-rays and will buy Season VI for myself and a copy for my brother. Maybe when I start teaching in the Fall, I can organize a screening of the film that way?

    Anyways, I love The Clone Wars, my wife does too. We would gladly do whatever we could to see it “winded down” properly.

    Reply
  2. Gary Dexter

    Full disclosure – I’m a friend of “Jawajames” and that being said, this is a characteristically considered and well written commentary. I do however (sadly) think that Jason is correct in that Disney are simply not interested in continuing it, certainly for another season. However to bridge both James and Jason’s points, it would be great to get a proper presentation of the remaining material and perhaps even a “mini series” perhaps 2 hour TV (theatrical even?) movie to bring closure, this was ultimately the outcome of the campaign following Sci Fi’s (or if you insist now SyFy’s) cancellation of “Farscape.”

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  3. derp

    Those propositions are great, but for the two first to work, they need to be launched by some high profile members of the community, important enough to mobilize and organize such a movement. Rebel Force Radio, for instance.
    Could Club Jade consider doing it? You are known enough for an initiative coming from here to be spread by influential websites. Or maybe Club Jade members could contact something like Rebel Force Radio and ask them to organize an add campaign and charity screenings. Anyway, I can’t see random obscur fans starting something that big, so I think it would be great if Club Jade could start it up.

    I think weekly twitter protests are good and effective because they can show the might of the movement in a short period of time and in an intense way, and more importantly give the campaign something letters campaigns don’t do as well: show persistence. Is much easier to get people to constantly protest on twitter and show we aren’t giving up than to get people to send letters all the time. Most people send one or two letters, then that’s it. Of course, we can get them to send more, but twitter will always be better at it keeping people going than letters.

    The two last propositions are very good: any individual fan can handle them, and they are effective.

    Gary Dexter: The show will probably not come back, but it is still possible to get them to make more bonus content than just two arcs. Pushing them to do so should now be the campaign’s main priority, rather than attempting to do what probably can’t be done: saving the show altogether.

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    1. Dunc

      Derp: I can’t speak for everyone in CJ, but overall, there’s never really been that much interest in TCW among us, James and Stooge aside. (Off the top of my head, I can only think of two other members who’ve mentioned watching it regularly.) I don’t think such a campaign is a bad idea, mind… But probably more in RFR’s wheelhouse than ours.

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  4. Jason Ward

    I think the best thing to come out of the Twitter “protests” is that they have somewhat placed disparate unhappy fans into some sort of organization. That’s not to say it is organized but it is easier to talk to the people who follow the hash tag and participate in it, which could be used for the next better plan, such as contributing to an ad or something.

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  5. Dom

    I agree with James’ points. Another simple way to show support is for people to go to various rankings sites and rank the Clone Wars highly. Amazon.com only has a hundred or so reviews for most seasons of TCW. Frankly, that’s pathetically low. Firefly has over 4,000 and it was only one for half a season. If Disney sees that the show’s a seller, they might reconsider.

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  7. Gahmah Raan

    Yeah, and maybe we can get them to release a series box set. But who’s going to be licensing the Season 5 box set when it comes out?

    Now that I think about it, I should’ve been buying the DVDs as they came out, if not just to watch the uncut versions of episodes. I may get them as a collection now that the series is over.

    Reply
    1. Dunc

      Buying the DVDs/Blu-Rays is without a doubt your best bet. James mentioned Firefly, but DVD sales are why Futurama and Family Guy both came back years after their original cancellations.

      Reply
  8. Jason Ward

    I don’t disagree. But I do fear it could be read as “people sure want more animated Star Wars, good thing we’re making a new series of animated Star Wars.”

    Reply
  9. jawajames Post author

    Jason: good point. Strong video sales do send a message, but as you point out, the message may not be clear.

    Sometimes it helps to use actual words (ie ‘open letter’ ad in Variety) to make it clear.

    Dom: Your suggestion of increasing both the volume and ratings of the show on various sites, like on Amazon is great!


    As Dunc mentioned, Club Jade may not be the best site to serve to lead the charge – our blog’s focus is primarily the EU, so a more Clone Wars-centric site, or a general Star Wars site might be a better home. However, I am very interested in helping shape the conversation toward the goals and paths I’ve laid out. If you like them, please let me know, and spread the word – like on this week’s twitter bomb.

    Reply
  10. Mark Newbold

    Great piece, excellent points and we’d certainly offer our help over at Jedi News if you guys and others thought that was appropriate. And the idea of an ad in Variety or elsewhere is a brilliant idea, we’d get behind that 100%.

    Reply
  11. Firebird

    I’ve got everything so far on blu-ray and season 5 will go on pre-order, but buying extra copies as gifts is a good idea and the fact that some of the profits are going to WB makes it even better! :) Jason Ward makes a good point and we do need to do something at the same time to make sure that Disney are informed that what they are seeing is support for The Clone Wars NOT just any old animated Star Wars that they might wish to trot out.

    As a first target I think maximising the ‘bonus content’ (preferably a full season) is the way to go. After that, well a direct to ‘video’ movie or two somewhere down the line would be nice, assuming the quality was what we’re used to. Disney do that sort of thing all the time but I wouldn’t expect to get anything like that until the Sequels are up and running, it’s definitely more of a long game there.

    Reply
  12. Stooge

    Really strong suggestions, all of them. I especially like the idea of trade ad… that shows organization and passion, which gotta count for something. Just tell me where to sign up!

    Reply
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