Star Wars fans get our three-year fix (News from the frontier, 2/15/2008)

Happy Friday, folks. Not a whole lot of news today, just catching up on a couple of stories from earlier in the week that were trumped by Paramount’s surprise change in Star Trek XI‘s release date.

Star Wars fans get our three-year fix: The Clone Wars hits theaters in August
A new Star Wars movie taking second billing to Star Trek‘s release date change? Don’t get excited. While Star Wars: The Clone Wars will indeed arrive in theaters on August 15, this is an animated movie that will kick off the television series of the same name.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which follows the adventures of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker between Star Wars: Episode II-Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III-Revenge of the Sith, should not be confused with Star Wars: Clone Wars, the 2003-2005 animated series that, uh, well, followed the adventures of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.

Okay, I admit, on the surface, they sound very similar, but look again. The 2003-2005 series did not include a “The” in the title while the 2008 movie and series does include a “The.”

The animation approach is also quite different, as the 2008 incarnation features 3D animation while the 2003-2005 version featured a 2D, quasi-anime style. Genndy Tartakovsky produced the critically acclaimed 2003-2005 series (even I liked it) with limited involvement from George Lucas, who was understandably busy making Revenge of the Sith. Tartakovsky is not involved on the new series.

The Tartakovsky series, which seemed to be a surprise hit to Lucasfilm, rather neatly filled in the gaps between the movies all the way up until just moments before Revenge of the Sith, so I’m not sure where the higher-profile new movie and series are going to go without some major retreading.

One of the new characters will be Anakin’s Jedi apprentice, Ahsoka (Gesundheit!). If there are any continuity links between this series and the old one, this would put Star Wars: The Clone Wars sometime after the first episode of Season 3–in which Anakin became a full-fledged Jedi Knight. Ahsoka (Bless you!) never shows up in the rest of Season 3, though, so we’ll probably have to forgive them on continuity a bit. The Star Wars canon whiners aren’t nearly as annoying as the Star Trek canon whiners, anyway.

The movie will run about 100 minutes, while the television episodes, which start airing in Fall, will run in half-hour timeslots on Cartoon Network and TNT cable channels.

Still lurking out there is the live-action television series that will take place between Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV-A New Hope. Maybe we’ll get a movie out of that one at some point, too. Call it Star Wars: The Revenge of a Sith or maybe Star Wars: The New Hope as not to confuse people, of course.

And the rest. . . .
· SCI FI Wire: Jackson talks Jumper [starring Hayden Christensen; in theaters this week]
· Newsarama: Dark Horse publishes Indy IV adaption in May
· Newsarama: Dan Didio talks Trinity – DC’s new weekly

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So, we lose a Star Trek movie in 2008 but gain a Star Wars movie. Once again, balance is maintained in the universe. Cheer up, my fellow Trekkies. May 8 will be here before we know it. And then, there’ll only be one more year to go. . . .