The news (which you can read more about here) has gotten us nerds fairly excited. We think the change of direction is good and much needed for the galaxy far, far away. But as hyped by the news as we are, I find myself somewhat hesistant. While The Clone Wars is stunning visually and can be a treat to watch, there are times where it, quite frankly doesn’t capture our attention.
Being a massive Star Wars fanatic, this doesn’t sit well with me, and part of me worries the same is going to end up happening with the new series. Heaven forbid anything Star Wars becomes stale, so I’ve complied a list of things the new animated show needs to do differently to keep fans and even casual TV watchers interested.
Return to traditional 2D Animation
This is what I feel to be the most important. While The Clone Wars 3D style is stunning and an impressive feat, I can’t see it working for a comedy series. Despite the advances in technology, the characters still appear blocky and move very stiffly. Look at the action from Genndy Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars micro-series; it was smooth fluid, and dynamic enough to still stand apart. Going back to 2D can give them more freedom, allowing them to do the goofier gags that only cartoons can get away with. Sticking with 3D adds too much realism to the world (even with a dynamic art style), making it hard to get away with silly stunts or more over the top jokes.
You can’t tell me that that fight wouldn’t look weird and unnatural in a 3D style (yeah I know it’s a long clip, but skip to the middle parts to see what I’m talking about if you’re in a hurry).
No Central Characters/Timeline
I’m not talking about getting rid of Kenobi and Skywalker (they’ve already confirmed those main characters won’t be involved), I’m talking about having a new set of characters every episode. It sounds weird but hang in there with me. This is key to making their comedy feel fresh and funny every week. Instead of sticking with a certain band of characters and a specific timeline, go with new people every episode. It’s a big galaxy, use this new series to constantly introduce new and interesting characters in it. It doesn’t mean certain characters can’t be used again, just don’t focus everything on them.
This allows the writers to do all kinds of comedy storylines without worrying about tramping their characters all across the galaxy to do it. They can do parody, satire, and goofball without stress. On top of that it also gives them the freedom to explore all time periods. They won’t be stuck with any one time period (Clone Wars or the events that followed). They could give fans treats we’ve always wanted to see, like exploring things from the books or comics.
Tag & Bink Styled Humor/Stories
Fans of the saga will typically recognize Tag and Bink. They’re a misfit pair who stumble around the galaxy getting into all sorts of trouble. What results are very humorous reasons/explanations for certain events in the films. I’m not saying they should go entirely in that direction, ripping off those storylines, but the creators should definitely take a look at the Tag and Bink stories for inspiration. They are a fine example of Star Wars comedy done properly, and ignoring them could be detrimental.
Don’t Target Only to Younglings
The Clone Wars is a fun show, it’s exciting and can hit some good notes, but let’s face it, it’s still geared more for the kiddos. That’s not to say we adults can’t enjoy it, but there’s not much content in there specifically appealing to an older crowd. With this new series I really hope they bring the age up. Especially being a comedy, it would be too easy to fall into the goofy, nonsensical gags that make children’s show so popular. Many great cartoons were able to balance between the two different audiences. Power Puff Girls, Dexter’s Lab, and similar shows constantly had “adult” themed references/jokes (sometimes going so far as to make me wonder how they got away with it) woven into the story.
Jokes like those will typically go over a youngster’s head, but still has enough visual comedy to keep them from losing interest. It’s a characteristic I desperately want the new show to have, and one I feel has a good chance of happening. With Seth Green having some part of the creative process this is almost a sure thing.
Don’t Be Afraid to Poke Fun at Yourself
I feel a show is better when it learns to not take itself so seriously. Star Wars stories are infused with lots of drama, which is fine, but it would be nice for this comedy series to take a step back and make jibes on itself. Take some of those memorable moments or lines and flip them on their ear. Joke about the inconsistencies in the saga (my favorite is when Kenobi giving Luke over to Owen and Beru with nary a word passed between them. Man, if only pawning a kid off on someone was that easy…I can’t even find a damn babysitter!) as opposed to ignoring them, or trying to fix them.
There are many other small things they could do, but I feel these are some of the most pressing. Let’s face it, no matter what, the show is going to be successful…it is Star Wars after all (that’s why I’ll be watching it). To appeal to more than the fanboys, though, and hit a broader base of people some changes will have to be made…that’s just this humble fan’s opinion.