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The Clone Wars non-review: ‘Young Jedi’

I’ve been struggling with how to approach this arc, and I guess I wasn’t the only one.  When these four episodes premiered at Celebration VI, it looked as if Lucasfilm wasn’t sure what to do with them.  Maybe the Powers That Be™ thought the story skewed a bit too young, maybe they were considering it for a possible spin-off series, maybe they just didn’t know if it was any good.  Those are all guesses, I honestly have no idea.  All I know for sure is this: I won’t review this arc.  I can’t.

Here’s why.  If you haven’t seen this arc, it’d be a crime to ruin any of it for you.  This is the flat-out best work this show has ever done.  The characterizations are smart and layered, the action is breathtaking, the emotions are earned, the gags are funny, the pacing is superb, the casting is brilliant and the voicework in general is a joy to hear.  In short, each and every creative decision is terrific.  Even characters who should be tired by now feel fresh and surprising.  So instead of a review, consider this a challenge: if you don’t watch The Clone Wars, take my word for it and check out these four episodes.  I’ll burn you a DVD if you can’t find them on your own!  This show keeps managing to top its own high-standards, and this storyline really illustrates just how far the series has come.

Grade:

Video: Ashley Eckstein’s Celebration VI diary

This is the whole thing, clocking in at almost 43 minutes and cameos from Star Wars and The Clone Wars cast/crew, plus fans like Amy Ratcliffe, Bryan Young and even a few Jader cameos!

Hint: At about minute 27, Ashley and artist Cat Staggs talk abut the con’s exclusive Mara Jade shirt.

Celebration VI: More details on Young Jedi

So yesterday I reported on the kids-focused screening of Young Jedi at Star Wars Celebration VI. Today I checked in with a few sources about what Young Jedi is all about. My first assumption about Young Jedi while viewing it was that it was going to be a story arc on The Clone Wars this season, but one thing I immediately noticed was the lack of a The Clone Wars title card – merely the Young Jedi logo. The screening definitely felt like it could be broken apart into several episodes of the show in terms of the storyline.

Afterwards, I heard about George Lucas’ mention of a younger-audience series during another panel, and thought that Young Jedi would fit the bill as a spinoff of The Clone Wars for younger audiences, and Lucas’ presence in the audience was his way to gauge audience reaction. Did the kids and parents in the audience get a sneak peek at an early version of the pilot? I got a chance to talk to someone with an in on the project. Continue reading

Celebration VI: The Clone Wars: Young Jedi

So while a lot of focus was on George Lucas at The Clone Wars panel this morning at Star Wars Celebration VI, and the Friday night premiere of the season five opener, fans got another peek at something upcoming in The Clone Wars with Young Jedi. In the Calling All Kids panel, (where all adults had to be accompanied by a child under 11), Dave Filoni introduced Young Jedi, an eighty-four minute screening that is likely to be a four-part story arc on Star Wars: The Clone Wars this season. (Or at least it appears that it could be easily separated into several episodes) With fans getting popcorn and George Lucas sitting in the crowd watching the reactions of the kids and adults in the audience, we were taken on a thrill ride aimed at the children who are the core audience
of the show.

Continue reading