Island Packet – A new “Star Wars” film opened that week, though you might not have noticed – and judging by the box office take, you didn’t – yet this strange bald Lucas apologist at work thought the film was gonna be the cat’s pajamas, leading to my contributing the following essay on Why You Couldn’t Drag Me To “Clone Wars” Unless I Was Made Recently Dead, At Which Point My Corpse Would Jump Up And Start Saying Something Like, “Whoa Whoa Whoa I Didn’t Consent To This.” (Pictured above: A bearded wooden tree fires lightning out of its rectangular man-hands.)
If “Star Wars” represented the pinnacle of my generation’s love of sci-fi — if not cinema — the three prequels served as the protracted breakup, the supreme letdown, the note you get from your prom date saying she’s breaking up with for your brother, but thanks for a nice time or whatever.
By extension, this ridiculous “Clone Wars” cartoon movie is the confusing post-breakup phase, the co-dependent part, the one with the soupy, depressing sense that both sides know it’s over, but still talk on the phone.
My assignment is to list the reasons I won’t go see a “Star Wars” cartoon movie, and here are two: 1. It’s “Star Wars,” and 2. It’s a cartoon movie. I was as big of a “Star Wars” twerp as they came for a while — test me on “Empire” bounty hunters, come on, I want you to do it — but by the time that uproarious third prequel rolled around, the best I could muster were silent prayers for credits to happen before someone else whined about trade routes, frolicked around the meadow from “The Adventures of Milo and Otis” or turned into a talking Rasta space frog.
The sad cruelty of this is that “The Clone Wars” is the movie that fans had been hoping George Lucas would make in the first place, the one about the rise of the Empire and the darkness of Vader, not ones about an 8-year-old slave who says “Yippee!’ a lot and who gets hit on by Natalie Portman, making him the luckiest second-grader alive. Had Lucas made the prequels more like “The Clone Wars,” there might have been less snort-laughing in the theater every time a character said, well, anything (“I love you.” “I love you more.” “You’re so pretty.” “That’s my love for you in visual form.”)
But he didn’t, and now “Star Wars” will continue devolving into “The X-Files” or Brett Favre, something that hangs on too long, despite logic and the best wishes of everybody. Let it go, George. Don’t look back.