The Star Wars universe is moving forward into a brave new era, and that means it’s time for a good old-fashioned brand scrub. Following the news that newly-Disneyfied Lucasfilm is delaying the 3D re-release of Episodes II and III, the company announced today that they are ending production of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the Cartoon Network series that spent five seasons earning raves – raves that were all variations of “Well, at least it’s better than the last few movies.”
Supervising Director Dave Filoni promises that the team is still working on additional Clone Wars story arcs, but it’s not immediately clear where or when those will appear. (The press release describes the story arcs as “bonus content,” which doesn’t inspire much confidence.) The end of Clone Wars indicates that Lucasfilm is closing the book on the whole prequel era, which is sad news for people who prefer Clone Troopers to Stormtroopers.
As part of the purge, Lucasfilm has also postponed the release of Star Wars: Detours, the long-in-the-works animated spoof series created by the Robot Chicken team. Detours always seemed like a dicey proposition. In the 20 years since Clerks’ “Death Star Plumbers” theory, joking about Star Wars has become an industry unto itself; it was never clear how much more gag material was left in the franchise. (Although somebody did just explain how the Battle of Hoth is an Iraq-war prophecy…) Although a trailer was released last summer, Detours never had an official release date. Lucasfilm says it’s “reconsidered whether launching an animated comedy prior to the launch of Episode VII makes sense,” although they claim they’re only postponing Detours until a later date.
Although these announcements only refer to Lucasfilm animation projects, the news doesn’t bode well for fans who were excited about the live-action crime-themed TV show Star Wars: Underworld or the bleak-looking videogame Star Wars 1313. It feels like Lucasfilm is closing the book on all those projects, and on the whole post-2005 era of long-rumored, intriguing-sounding spin-offs. Goodbye, Deadwood in Space.
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