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Keywords: George Lucas, Robot Chicken, Television, Untitled Animated Series (and maybe Squishies)
April 6, 2010 2:42 PM   Subscribe

Lucasfilm Animation is currently developing an all-new animated Star Wars series. Not that one, a new series. And no relation to the holiday special (1978) or Ewoks, the animated series (1985), or even Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO (1985). The new new series is set to feature creative involvement from Seth Green and Matthew Senreich, creators and executive producers Robot Chicken, writing from The Daily Show's Brendan Hay, produced by Jennifer Hill (The Backyardigans), and directed by Todd Grimes (Back at the Barnyard). Unlike the Clone Wars animated series, the latest venture into animation will be one more humorous in tone and aimed at younger kids. Pre-School to Kindergarten aged kids young, and the working title is believed to be "Squishies" (or not).
posted by filthy light thief (76 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
April 6th people. Try to get going faster next year.
posted by GuyZero at 2:43 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Lucasfilm Animation is currently developing an all-new animated Star Wars series

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by zarq at 2:44 PM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


The Clone Wars cartoon is waaaay better than the prequels, but with so much death and violence there's no way I would like my kids watch it until they get a little older.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:45 PM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by shakespeherian at 2:45 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by zarq at 2:47 PM on April 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:48 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey George, just because you fathered it doesn't mean you get to keep raping its dessicated corpse over and over again. That waddle isn't going away and you'll never get that 1977 feeling back again.

So, at this point, it's just sad and mean what you're doing over there.
posted by felix betachat at 2:49 PM on April 6, 2010


When I saw it on Slashdot, I thought this might be the case of poor editing, as the link there was to a Google news search, not a single page. But there it is, on Starwars.com, dated April 5th, 2010.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:49 PM on April 6, 2010


The Clone Wars cartoon has increasingly grown more mature over its two season life so far. I'd hope with the creation of this kiddie show, it might mean dropping the out of place irrelevant aspects that now occasional pop up in the current series. I.E., NO MORE EPISODES THAT FEATURE JAR JAR AS THE MAIN CHARACTER.

I was blown away watching the latest episode where a bounty hunter snaps a guy's neck with his bare hands and had to think, "Well.....this ain't for the preschool set."

I will suffer new shows called things like "squishes" if it means awesome stuff makes it through the process, too.
posted by Atreides at 2:49 PM on April 6, 2010


(re: April fools joke)
posted by filthy light thief at 2:50 PM on April 6, 2010


Well, if we think of Lucas as the creator and all these increasingly dreadful iterations of Star Wars as his offspring, I guess Dad has decided to escalate past maiming and just finish off his kids.
posted by bearwife at 2:50 PM on April 6, 2010


> the latest venture into animation will be one more humorous in tone and aimed at younger kids.

"Mr. Lucas, will you sign my copy of Star Wars Babies?"
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:51 PM on April 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


This comment from the "Squishy" link page amuses me:
Well, George Lucas has the right to do what he wishes with his Intellectual property. However, such a proposal raises two questions for me.

1) How will thy script a show for preschoolers in a setting that solves most problems with violence?

2)Won't listening to Yoda really screw with their speech development?

If my kids start waving their little hands and saying, "MAKE ME A CHOCOLATE BROWNIE, YOU WILL. YES!" They'll learn very quickly that Daddy's unhelpful response is "Poof, you're a chocolate brownie. Tada!"
posted by zarq at 2:51 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just slap a new cover on Howard the Duck and sell that. Asshole.
posted by nola at 2:52 PM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


The Clone Wars cartoon has increasingly grown more mature over its two season life so far.

I gave it a chance, I really did - but after that Truman Capote-esqe effeminate "cousin" of Jabba the Hutt showed up in the original movie, I kind of gave up on Star Wars entirely. I'm glad to hear it got less ridiculous.
posted by DecemberBoy at 2:55 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


My first reaction to this was NOOOOOOOOOOOOO as well. But it's intriguing given the people involved (I like the Robot Chicken guys). Also, the Star Wars franchise already has sunk so low that it has nowhere to go but up at this point. So yeah, I'll watch it with my kids at least once.
posted by brain_drain at 2:56 PM on April 6, 2010


The Genndy Tartakovsky one was actually kind of awesome, as full of life as every other prequel related thing has been ponderous and dull. No interest in this new thing.
posted by Artw at 2:56 PM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


So on another note, do I need to have seen Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003) in order to follow Star wars: The Clone Wars (2008)? Because I made it through only about half of the former before getting bored, but I hear lots of good things about the latter.
posted by bettafish at 2:57 PM on April 6, 2010


Do not want
posted by Dr-Baa at 2:58 PM on April 6, 2010


Slag and move on, people.
posted by Stonewall Jackson at 2:58 PM on April 6, 2010


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by mazola at 2:59 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Proper noun scrabble rule change now looking like comparatively good idea.
posted by Artw at 2:59 PM on April 6, 2010 [7 favorites]


Also: I grew up on the Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith and APPRECIATED their thoughtful complex politics, psychology, and dark tone.

Now he's making ... a comedy ?

GEORGE LUCAS RAPED MY CHILDHOOD!
posted by mazola at 3:02 PM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


>>Also, the Star Wars franchise already has sunk so low that it has nowhere to go but up at this point.

Thats what we all thought after Phantom Menace.
posted by Glibpaxman at 3:06 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


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posted by WolfDaddy at 3:07 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


The People Vs George Lucas
posted by Artw at 3:10 PM on April 6, 2010


I was blown away watching the latest episode where a bounty hunter snaps a guy's neck with his bare hands and had to think, "Well.....this ain't for the preschool set."


pics or it didn't happen
posted by Think_Long at 3:12 PM on April 6, 2010


*sheepishly* I'm actually somewhat hopeful for this because I love Robot Chicken Star Wars.

Though, then again, Robot Chicken is TV-MA for a reason, so I don't know how their input would translate to kids' fare.
posted by kmz at 3:12 PM on April 6, 2010


"You have to understand how George Lucas works, and I’ve been working with him for 30 years,” Roffman said. “He’s driven by his own personal vision. He believes in the integrity of that, and he doesn’t believe in letting outside forces like studios and research interfere with the story he wants to tell.”

What Lucas needs to do is retcon all this into the original trilogy and the prequels so the outside forces like the audience don't interfere with his own personal vision.
And is it wrong if the story he has to tell has to do with Han Solo drinking a Coors?
posted by Smedleyman at 3:12 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


But it's intriguing given the people involved (I like the Robot Chicken guys).

The Robot Chicken link in the FPP is for the Wookipedia page on the Robot Chicken Star Wars spoofs, which are pretty detailed. Maybe it'll be a subversive show, cute for the kids with something deeper for the geeky parents.

There were cheap hacks since 1978, when the holiday came out after the first movie. Lucas (or whoever) held off on the animated series until after the next two movies were out and done with, but they came only 2.5 years after Return of the Jedi.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:15 PM on April 6, 2010


So last night I'm walking down Granville St in Vancouver and see the "Now Playing" movies on a marquee are "Indiana Jones and the Hex of the Hydra" and "Star Wars: Legion of the Droids." Also: "Superman vs Batman 2." With the exception of the last one, these sound like plausible releases from Lucasfilm, even though I'm pretty sure this is actually going to be the punchline to some joke in an upcoming film.
posted by Kirk Grim at 3:19 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just what we need -- Star Wars brought down even more toward "the kiddies". *sigh*

For those who hadn't seen this yet, however, I think this is probably the best episode from the original cartoon Clone Wars. It's brilliant in its simplicity, and actually makes Mace Windu into the badass he always should have been.

I just watched the original theatrical cut of Star Wars over the weekend. Am I going to have to watch the original theatrical cut of The Empire Strikes Back to recover my soul yet again?
posted by hippybear at 3:20 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


> the Star Wars franchise already has sunk so low that it has nowhere to go but up

Don't be too certain of this aesthetic minimum you've constructed. The ability to wreck a franchise is insignificant next to the power of being unable to perceive that you are doing it.
posted by darth_tedious at 3:21 PM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


probably the best episode from the original cartoon Clone Wars.

Is that the one with the giant stompy thing?

/checks

Yup, that is pretty cool.
posted by Artw at 3:22 PM on April 6, 2010


KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by mwhybark at 3:23 PM on April 6, 2010


At this point, Star Wars and its fans are locked into some sort of weird, depressing abusive relationship. How many more times are you going to let George Lucas kick you in the face before you move on to something else better?
posted by Stonewall Jackson at 3:24 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


And is it wrong if the story he has to tell has to do with Han Solo drinking a Coors?

I would accept product placement in exchange for reversing other terrible revisions. E.g.:

Original: Han pre-emptively kills Greedo.

Special Edition: Han kills Greedo in self-defense after Greedo shoots first.

Platinum Edition: Han Kills Greedo after Greedo attempts to swipe Han's bottle of Coors Light. Han picks up his bottle, takes a drink, and holds it up, smiling -- "No one messes with my Coors Light. Not even Chewie! (winks)." Chewbacca beats his chest and howls.
posted by brain_drain at 3:24 PM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Anyway, it's been done.
posted by Artw at 3:26 PM on April 6, 2010


DO NOT WANT!!!
posted by jpdoane at 3:27 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wince at the idea of trying to shoehorn this universe into a show for little kids, and then I remember that technically Invader Zim was for kids as well.

And having Green and Senreich involved improves the credibility for awesome considerably.
posted by quin at 3:32 PM on April 6, 2010


An Assortment of Underachieving AT-ATs
posted by Artw at 3:36 PM on April 6, 2010 [8 favorites]


I'm tempted to ask why people still give a crap about anything Star Wars since The Phantom Menace came out, but I still watch Heroes, so maybe I understand.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 3:38 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would watch a sitcom with underachieving AT-ATs.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:38 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ahh, a show based on those popular tiny action figures, like the Marvel Super Hero Squad Show. If it is anything like that it will be awful but ignorable.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 3:39 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Marvel Super Hero Squad freaks me out.
posted by Artw at 3:40 PM on April 6, 2010


The original concept was centered around Ewoks and the series was to be called "Furries".
posted by mazola at 3:45 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


This series came out when I was 6, and even then I could tell it was crap. Can you tell me why the new one will be better?
posted by infinitewindow at 3:46 PM on April 6, 2010


if they would just copy Seinfeld and make a show about space nothing in a galaxy far far away I might be into that
posted by Glibpaxman at 3:57 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can you tell me why the new one will be better?

Pph! Droids wasn't animated on a computer.
posted by mazola at 3:58 PM on April 6, 2010


Some people should never, ever get fuck-you money.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:04 PM on April 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


filthy light thief: "I would watch a sitcom with underachieving AT-ATs."

Ooooo me too. They'd have to have a recurring joke with wires getting wrapped around one AT-AT's legs and him falling to the same canned laughter every week. And some kind of class divide between AT-ATs and AT-STs. An ambitious ex Harvard TV writer could even work in some Animal Farm references riffing on two legs vs four legs.
posted by Babblesort at 4:11 PM on April 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


I wince at the idea of trying to shoehorn this universe into a show for little kids, and then I remember that technically Invader Zim was for kids as well.

Even that fucking creepy Dark Harvest episode.
posted by shakespeherian at 4:16 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


How about those AT-PTs, eh?
posted by Artw at 4:17 PM on April 6, 2010


Ooh, ooh, and the slow-witted AT-TE who sometimes botches the tripwire gag, only to look at the camera and ask "Whuddai do?"

This is going to be the best series ever!
posted by filthy light thief at 4:43 PM on April 6, 2010


Here's the latest Clone Wars episode. Incidentally, it's a send up to Akira Kurosawa, particularly Seven Samurai. For the neck snapping action, I'd wager you have to get about 2/3rds of the way through.

As a nod to Seven Samurai, it isn't bad, but it's rushed due to running time.
posted by Atreides at 4:56 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd wager you have to get about 2/3rds of the way through.

It's 15.50 in . Damn, that's pretty intense
posted by Think_Long at 5:05 PM on April 6, 2010


Gotta say, my 9 year old lurves Star Wars: The Clone Wars (or however it's punctuated) in a huge and scary way. I mean, he is exactly the demographic it is supposed to appeal to, and he absolutely eats it up with a spoon: he plays Star Wars with his friends; he plays Star Wars video games; he watches every episode of SWTCW when they debut, and then about a billion more times after I d/l them to his computer. And don't even get me started on the Lego Star Wars sets that allow him to dutifully recreate every aspect of the SWTCW universe in Lego -- we got those, too, and they have taken over his room (but they also fuel his very active imagination, so I'm cool with them). So I completely understand why LucasArts wants to extend their franchise, even if it continually rapes my own childhood appreciation of this extended series and these characters. I get that.

Just one request for the new series, LucasArts: No more characters like Jar Jar or Ziro the Hutt, OK? I can handle my son fighting imaginary light saber duels on his way to school, and I can handle his long expositions at the dinner table on the different types of battle droids and how to tell them apart. But I draw the line at Jar Jar and Ziro. Even a supportive dad has his limits.
posted by mosk at 5:06 PM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Kirk Grim: So last night I'm walking down Granville St in Vancouver and see the "Now Playing" movies on a marquee are "Indiana Jones and the Hex of the Hydra" and "Star Wars: Legion of the Droids." Also: "Superman vs Batman 2."

It's from alternate universe Fringe! (previously)
posted by niles at 5:27 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


TROLOLOLOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by homunculus at 5:30 PM on April 6, 2010


filthy light thief, I think you're mixing up two separate announcements. The "squishies" concept was announced a couple weeks ago (leading to a lot of ridiculous wharrrgarbl about "Jedi Babies"), while the more recent announcement about the Green/Senreich comedy appears to be something else, aimed at a more mature audience.

Though if there's some announcement I missed, and they are indeed one and the same, then disregard.
posted by mgrichmond at 5:43 PM on April 6, 2010


Totally anecdotally, I have a friend, a director/producer friend with his own multiple credits on the IMDB and everything. He even let me touch a camera once, for about 15 seconds.

He won't let his twins (now 5) watch Star Wars anything. They have proper Family Movie Nights in the projection room with, well, actually, I'm not sure what you have Proper Family Movie Nights with when you have five year old twins. I'm guessing it's not Lynch. Anyway....

His kids, a boy and a girl, are, having never seen a single Star Wars anything, utterly obsessed with it, just as my oldest (now 6) has been since 4. They only ask for the lego sets, the kids first level reading comics, etc. when it's present time. (I'm the bad parent and let my sons watch A New Hope. In my defense it was the original cut and they DAMN WELL KNOW Han shot first.)

Anyhooo...I suppose there's something elementally attractive about the Star Wars universe, no matter how debased it (in our eyes) becomes.
posted by digitalprimate at 5:54 PM on April 6, 2010


Here's the latest Clone Wars episode.

Thanks, I've been meaning to check this out. Just so I'm not totally lost: who is the girl?
posted by homunculus at 6:14 PM on April 6, 2010


In brief, she's Anakin's padewan learner. I.E., the same rank that Anakin had in Attack of the Clones. Ahsoka started off kind of bratty, back when the show seemed to want to favor a younger audience, but her character has matured more since then.
posted by Atreides at 6:33 PM on April 6, 2010


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by zarq at 6:41 PM on April 6, 2010


Thats what we all thought after Phantom Menace.

Well not all of us. Some of us thought that after Return of the Jedi. The subsequent films only got making horrible films even better.
posted by juiceCake at 7:00 PM on April 6, 2010


In brief, she's Anakin's padewan learner. I.E., the same rank that Anakin had in Attack of the Clones.

Oh dear. Since there was no mention of her in Episode 3, I assume she's destined to die, thus driving Anakin further over the edge. Poor thing. Actually, of all the things Lucas has made up as he went along, giving Anakin his own doomed padawan is probably the best idea for his character's development. I just hope he's more composed around scantily clad females in the cartoon than he was in Episode 2.
posted by homunculus at 9:18 PM on April 6, 2010


It's fascinating to me to hear so much (apparently positive?) discussion of the new Clone Wars franchise. When I first heard that there'd be a new movie and series, I assumed it was a continuation of the Genndy Tartakovsky cartoon. Which would have been awesome. For my money, the Tartakovsky cartoons were the only good thing to come out of the Star Wars universe this century, and a film treatment could have been amazing.

I saw the trailer for the new Clone Wars and it looked ridiculous. The animation looks so dated. It looks like one of those cut scenes from a ten-year-old video game. Everyone in the theatre laughed through the trailer, and I naturally assumed that the series would disappear after an episode or two. Is it really worth watching?
posted by roll truck roll at 9:59 PM on April 6, 2010


I laughed so hard I cried at Robot Chicken Star Wars. Not kidding. This could actually be funny.
posted by little light-giver at 10:44 PM on April 6, 2010


roll truck roll,

The Clone Wars movie came after Lucas saw the initial episode work being done by the animators and what not and decided that it was so "good" that it should be released as a movie. Having watched the movie, I would say it was sub par to the series that followed. The animation wasn't as good, nor was the storyline and other content. If someone asked me if watching the movie would be the starting point for being introduced to the show, I'd tell them no. It's no BSG miniseries.

As the show has progressed, I think the folks making it have also become more experience and comfortable in what they're producing. The animation has improved considerably (or at least feels like it), especially in terms of lighting and "camera work." Simple things like the facial animation, be it expression to speaking, has also improved. The directors have made a point to film it from a more cinematic perspective, which helps differentiates it from your regular television CGI productions. The story, content, and characters (for the most part), have also improved in design and implementation.

I'd say it's worth your time, though with the idea that season 1 (out on DVD) is the weaker of the two (almost done with season 2). Though, I see that the season finale is going to involve Boba Fett (as 12 year old), so I'm kind of leery on how that's going to be done.
posted by Atreides at 6:35 AM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


More on the Clone Wars/Kurosawa connection -- they also did Stray Dog this season.
posted by muckster at 7:37 AM on April 7, 2010


I think this is the Stray Dog episode: Lightsaber Lost
posted by homunculus at 9:58 AM on April 7, 2010


filthy light thief, I think you're mixing up two separate announcements.

I was unsure of that when making the post. From the official announcement, The Star Wars Babies seemed to fit with Todd Grimes and Jennifer Hill, but they may be working on something more mature, with the pre-K show being done by another group.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:01 AM on April 7, 2010


Yeah, that's it -- and Senate Spy is a take on Hitchcock's Notorius. There's also one with an Alien queen.
posted by muckster at 10:05 AM on April 7, 2010


“He’s driven by his own personal vision. He believes in the integrity of that, and he doesn’t believe in letting outside forces like studios and research interfere with the story he wants to tell.”

Sounds like this guy.
posted by thermonuclear.jive.turkey at 12:08 PM on April 7, 2010


No, thermonuclear.jive.turkey, Ed Wood had taste and class. At least the man knew how to accessorize.
Lucas wears the same damn plaid or checked shirts everywhere.
In his favor, Lucas' daughter is an MMA fighter. Although if I were his kid I'd want to hit someone too.
(In all fairness she trains at Fairtex in SF, so she's serious)
posted by Smedleyman at 2:22 PM on April 7, 2010


Just an amusing follow up concerning last night's episode. At one point in the show, Mace Windu turns to some clone soldiers and shouts their names to get them to follow him. They are as follow, "Trapper, Johns, and Hawkeye."


Heh.
posted by Atreides at 7:02 PM on April 10, 2010


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