Roqoo Depot Roundtable: Changes

March 26, 2013 at 8:28 am | Posted in Regular Feature, Rountable, Star Wars | Leave a comment
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RD Roundtable

RD staff retro podcasting, 6th century style

Starting today, Roqoo Depot is introducing a new regular feature, The Roundtable, where members of our staff will discuss pertinent topics.  Think of it as podcasting in print.

Yesterday we had some fun poking fun at Disney, but today we’re turning to more serious discussion regarding all the changes Disney is bringing about, including the cancellation of TCW and the holds on various other projects.

Skuldren: Recently Disney has announced that they are postponing Star Wars: Detours and they are winding down The Clone Wars by turning what was intended to be season six into bonus content. Keep in mind the general idea for The Clone Wars was to run eight seasons. Star Wars 1313 is also on hold, and the 3D releases of Episodes I and II have been put on hold. All of this has been marketed as “focusing on Episode VII.” Thoughts?

Geralyn: My thoughts are that I just don’t get the TCW cancellation.  The show was amazing and successful and there’s nothing to replace it.  Fans are left hanging in a void.  This does not seem like smart marketing to me.  Now there is talk of layoffs at Lucas Animation.  This upsets me, and it’s another thing I don’t get.  Didn’t Disney leave Pixar alone when they acquired it — just let them do their thing?

Cory: I don’t understand the cancellation of TCW either. There are a ton of plot lines that should be finished. Right now we have a lot of stuff being stopped in order to focus on Episode VII, but as fans we aren’t getting anything in return for what will be in the Sequel Trilogy. I really think that Disney is underestimating the fans, if you keep taking things away without giving us a taste of what’s to come it’s going to be an uphill battle with the fans.

Ryan: See, the cancellation of TCW doesn’t surprise or anger me. Star Wars has gotten incredibly big, and so much has happened in this franchise (Movies, books, comics, TV) and I think Disney is just trying to slim that down and make a clear, direct future. TCW was a great show, but it doesn’t exactly fit into the Sequel Trilogy Era in the slightest, and that might confuse or overwhelm average fans, not die-hards like us. I think Disney wants to market Episode VII solely, and focus all of Lucasfilm’s energy on that, which as sad as it is that TCW is ending, makes sense. I think that that will help the release of Episode VII, bringing in a bigger box office. However, I am curious and disheartened by the cancellation of the 3D releases, as I feel like releasing each of those up until the release of Episode VII could have created almost an Avengers-like momentum. Though 3D is also a lot less popular at the moment than it has been, so I’m not entirely surprised either.

Also I think that the fans, frankly, will deal with this. They may get angry with Disney for TCW cancellation or any number of things, but they are still going to run to see Episode VII. That, and the quality of Episode VII may very well overwhelm the negativity of TCW’s cancellation, though that of course remains to be seen until 2015. I just feel like Disney is gearing up for the big Sequel Trilogy, and fans should just accept that, because it very well might help the film and it’s success.

Cory: I don’t disagree that Star Wars has gotten huge over the years, but TCW’s cancellation bothers me for a different reason. For me this was something that I got to enjoy with my kids every Saturday morning. Growing up I got to enjoy Star Wars with my dad and now I get to enjoy it with my kids every weekend. Now that that is gone it feels like a little void now. Now that doesn’t mean I’m deterred from the Sequels at all, but TCW was something that was special, something that was ours and it’s gone now.

In terms of layoffs at Lucas Animation, that doesn’t surprise me at all. They wouldn’t keep people on staff, and paid mind you, when they aren’t doing anything. It wouldn’t surprise me if a lot of the staff is brought back when the new series starts.

Skuldren: There’s no doubt that fan’s of The Clone Wars were hit hard by the decision. While it does make sense to trim excess spending and focus resources and attention on Star Wars Episode VII in order to make it the best for fans, the issue is that The Clone Wars was one, if not the best animated show on television already. And right now, it’s the only Star Wars show on television. Plus I can’t buy the idea of Disney wanting to slim down Star Wars because there’s too much of it out there. They certainly aren’t doing that with the Marvel franchise. One thing I could understand would be a cost factor. It’s possible the show cost more than what Disney is willing to spend on a show they don’t really want. Regardless, Disney isn’t giving Star Wars fans much of anything to go on at the present. For us die hard Star Wars fans, let us hope they don’t touch the books or comics.

Geralyn: Well, Disney has reassured us once again that the “bonus” content — whatever that means — for Season 6 will definitely be available.  I’ve seen several means of delivering that content posited, but herein lies the problem.  We just don’t know.  We don’t know because Disney/LFL isn’t really giving us anything to go on.  Honestly, that’s a problem because much of what we’re getting in the way of info is negative info.

There will be a new trilogy and Episode 7 will be released in 2015.  So yeah fantastic news…but here’s what we’ve been getting after that.  JJ Abrams is directing.  Yay! because I actually think lens flare is kinda cool.  And he really revitalized Original Trek.  So I expect him to do the same for Star Wars, but hey no pressure, JJ.  Arndt is writing the script.  It’s not finished.  We don’t know who’s going to be in the movie.  No one’s signed.  Also my personal jury is still out on the Arndt choice.  I loved Little Miss Sunshine, but that’s a far cry from Star Wars.  And we haven’t had a chance to see Oblivion or Catching Fire.

TCW is cancelled.  We’re giving you bonus content.  We’re not saying what or how it’s going to be delivered or actually when that will happen.

We’re going to do a new animated series set in an era previously not seen in the movies or on TV.  Cue crickets chirping.

Oh, yeah we’re also firing a bunch of Lucas Animation folks which may be signalling the end of Lucas Animation.  Because why would we want to keep the folks who’ve done one of the absolute best animated series ever?

Detours on hold.

Star Wars 1313 on hold.

When you think about it, the only part of the franchise that we know is actually doing the heavy lifting is Dark Horse’s Star Wars comics.  Even the novels are having a slim publication year.  I don’t know what’s going on, but that’s the problem.  I don’t know what’s going on.

Ryan: But what is wrong with that? I think as Star Wars fans we’ve been spoiled with all the different avenues of entertainment in the franchise, and we just have to adjust. Typically fans aren’t spoon-fed information and books and TV shows like we Star Wars fans have been, and I don’t exactly think we should blame Disney’s take over for it. They are just doing things normally. I’m also not saying I necessarily enjoy the change, by the way, just that I’m not blaming or getting angry with Disney/Lucasfilm for it.

Also, when a TV Show is cancelled…the staffers on said TV Show are essentially fired and look for new jobs. TCW is cancelled…thus their staff has to move on to find other work. What is wrong with that? It happens on every other TV Show in the history of TV.

Mathieu: I actually kind of “like” the situation you described Geralyn. We’ve had years and years of literally overwhelming Star Wars productions, TCW products everywhere, TOR products everywhere, many novels and comics, it’s even hard to keep track of all of them. If it’s already confusing for an old timer, I really don’t want to know what’s it’s like for the newcomer. If I was entering the big Star Wars house and saw the mess, I’d do exactly what Disney is doing: tabula rase, fresh start, because anyway, the new films are not going to be along the lines of what has been done before.

Even the last points of resistance (novels and comic books publishers) are starting to slowly go down the path of narrowing the scope:  those Han-Luke-Leia novels are certainly meant to be the best entry points to the new generation of fans coming up the way. No news of the Sword of the Jedi series is probably an alarming sign too.

My initial “meh reaction” of Disney buying LFL and dark thoughts of how I was going to live like an hermit with my NJO books and never watch the new films is slowly starting to be washed away. We don’t have any information, but the way is cleared. Re-centering on the Big Three is the best way to bring back the moaners and complainers, because I just love those characters: I’m now much more interested in the tiniest information I could get about the films.

I’m excited like I’m 10 years old again and that feels good. Except for Sword of the Jedi.

Geralyn: Mathieu, I don’t have a problem with the reset or the paring down.  They can reset the entire EU and I’ll be fine with that.  And honestly, I think if TCW had to end, it ended at a very good point in the story.  I can infer the impact Ahsoka’s departure had on Anakin.  I like that there’s a possible mystery about her fate.  I don’t need closure on it.  We’ve also been given more evidence of the Jedi Council’s failure which led to the destruction of the Jedi Order.  Although I may be reading into this, even Obi-Wan’s subsequent survival makes more sense.  How many times has he disagreed with the Council now?  While he nearly always obeys the Council, his compass is true.  He’s more a true Jedi than anyone else on the Council.  So I’m good with that.

It’s the handling of this that I have some issues with, and I don’t think they’re handling it too well.  Does Disney realize that there are a lot of fans who are actually adults?  Because it kind of feels like I’m being patted on the head like a child and told to trust the adults.  And you know that doesn’t really even work on kids.  

Cory: I think Disney realizes how many adult fans there are, but maybe this is where we fall. Maybe these announcements hit us harder because of how deeply entrenched we are to the Star Wars mythos?  You know my 7 year old hated the news that TCW was ending, but he knows there’s more movies coming and for him that’s good enough for now. Maybe we should be looking at this through the eyes of children? After 36+ years of Star Wars maybe we are all a little too spoiled.

Skuldren: So, some of us are okay with The Clone Wars coming to an abrupt end, and some of us are okay with Disney slimming down the franchise. Cancellations aside, what would we like to see filling up the time period prior to Episode VII’s release? They certainly won’t have enough time to do a new tv show or a video game. If they follow previous examples, they’ll have a novelization out before the movie is officially released. If we see a ramp up in Episode VII promotion in 2015, that still leaves the rest of this year and all of 2014 to do something to keep people interested in Star Wars. They’ve certainly cleaned the slate. Do they plan on keeping it empty?

Cory: Well Kathleen Kennedy has said that 2014 will be the year of Star Wars, so I expect some really cool stuff to tide us over.

Mathieu: Nothing but Sword of the Jedi, just because we need an end to the known EU.

Cory: Pretty sure that will be coming at the end of Crucible.

Mathieu: The end or SotJ?

Ryan: I also think the ending could be coming with Crucible, for me that seems really fitting. And also Troy Denning made that comment that the announcement of the Sequel Trilogy did make him tweak the ending to Crucible.

Geralyn: I’m kind of thinking the same thing about Crucible.  I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the end of the EU as we’ve known it, and I just don’t feel all that sanguine about SOTJ.  We all know the EU is going to change with the new movies, and part of me is really looking forward to seeing the changes the movies are going to bring.  But that’s a roundtable discussion for a different day.  For now what makes sense to me is this new animated featuring filling the gap between episodes 6 & 7.  I could definitely watch that.

Ryan: Wait there is an animated series taking place between the trilogies? I completely missed that apparently.

And I’m excited for perhaps a new reboot of the EU with these new movies. I was never one of those fans who slammed the books and refused to read, but I definitely miss certain things about the EU that no longer exist, like Mara and Jacen etc. This could prove to be very interesting.

Cory: I’m looking forward to the changes as well. I have literally waited my entire life for the Sequel Trilogy and now it’s almost here. It’s an amazing time to be a Star Wars fan right now.

Geralyn: Ryan, there isn’t an animated series between the movies.  But there is some animated series coming down the pike set in an era that hasn’t been done in movies or tv.  That’s all we know for sure so we don’t know what it is yet.  I’m hoping it’s a bridge between 6 & 7 — which makes the most sense to me.  Honestly, a reboot could be one of the best things to happen to Star Wars.  Like I said earlier, look what Abrams has done for Original Trek.

Ryan: Ahh I see I see. I’d like to see an animated Classic trilogy characters, that’d be interesting. I’m honestly so excited for the potential of a live action TV Series on ABC though. Hell, Abrams could even do that, since he delves into TV quite frequently.

Skuldren: With the landslide of cancellations, fans will have to form their own opinions if Disney deserves a pass or not. Many gamers were looking forward to a mature rated Star Wars video game ala Star Wars 1313. Film fans were eager to fill the wait for Episode VII by seeing the re-released of the old Star Wars films in 3D. Other fans were hoping to enjoy a full, satisfying conclusion to The Clone Wars to find out what the fates of their favorite characters would be. I personally was looking forward to Star Wars: Detours and some serious Star Wars comedy, something we don’t get much of.

As fans, we’re all anxious to see the movies. But the biggest question right now is: what will we watch in the meantime?

Posted by Geralyn for Roqoo Depot

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