Yesterday’s announcement that Lucasfilm Animation will be wrapping up The Clone Wars with some bonus content but not a full sixth season, while preparing for a new series was not a big surprise, but it was still a sad piece of news for me and other fans of the show.
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.
Looking 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.
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.
Every time I see someone use the term ‘Jedis,’ I sigh.
Maybe it’s petty, but few things drive me battier than glaring Star Wars typos, particularly when they come from professional and semi-professional news outlets. Here are a few Star Wars terms and spellings every fan (and entertainment journalist) ought to know and use correctly in the years ahead.
A CJ reader attending a Lucasfilm university recruiting event in October noticed something curious. During the Lucasfilm Animation portion of the presentation, University Relations Manager Anita Stokes said that in addition to The Clone Wars and Detours, “Lucasfilm Animation is also working on a feature film.” Our reader says it was heavily implied that this was a Clone Wars movie.
I have my skeptic hat on, even with yesterday’s report/very possible misquote of “two or three films a year.” With 3-D re-releases of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sithlate next year, plus the original trilogy to (presumably) spread out through 2014 before the new films in 2015, it seems like Lucasfilm is quickly approaching a Star Wars saturation point in theaters. I could certainly see a full-length Clone Wars movie for TV – to launch the show on Disney XD, perhaps? – but ‘feature’ implies otherwise.
Of course, this mystery feature could also very well be the fairy project or, if the Disney deal scuttled that, something else entirely. Or maybe brand-new Star Wars to aim for the Episode VII-VIII gap – perhaps related to the new films? A launching pad for another animated series, even? Time will tell…
Lucasfilm hired Brenda Chapman – who was the writer and original director for Brave at Pixar- in August. Reports were that she was consulting on a ‘mystery project’ for Lucasfilm Animation…. But in the wake of the Disney sale and sequel trilogy announcements? Bleeding Cool notes some of her recent tweets – including a link to a Time story on Episode VII. Could she be involved with the new films somehow? ” We will just have to wait and see what happens,” she tweeted to one such inquiry.
Of course, it’s worth noting that all of Chapman’s credits are in animation – she directed Dreamwork’s The Prince of Egypt – and Episode VII already has a writer. But ‘consultant’ does cover a lot of ground, and the timing is pretty curious…
And yes, this is pure, unbridled speculation – even Bleeding Cool admits she might really be working on that fairy musical we’ve barely heard about, or something else entirely. Still, an interesting prospect.
The original director of Brave, Brenda Chapman has left Pixar for Lucasfilm. She’ll be consulting in the animation department on “something new.” Is it something as obvious as the Seth Green comedy project, or something else we haven’t heard about yet? After all, LucasFilm Animation “is also focusing efforts on feature film animation and other new intellectual properties.”
Chapman has an impressive resume. She has writing credits not only on Brave, but Disney’s The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, as well as directing The Prince of Egypt for Dreamworks – the first American woman to direct an animated feature film from a major studio, according to IMDB. Learn more about her career and Brave in an interview she did with Pixar Portal last year.
Whatever Lucasfilm has brewing, Chapman certainly has the chops!
“I’ve been a fan of Asian animation and illustration all my life,” George Lucas said. “Asian cinema has had a particularly big impact on a lot of my work. When we began thinking about developing new ways to explore the craft of animation, it seemed a natural step to combine the two. By having a base in Singapore, we can create a new style of animation that will blend East and West and offer something not seen before.”