Word broke today that George Lucas is planning another animated Star Wars television series — only this one will be targeted at kids kindergarten age and younger. Apparently there’s this line of toys for little tykes called Star Wars Galactic Heroes that features cutesy action figures that look like caricature cartoon versions of all the major Star Wars characters (it’s the same exact thing as Marvel’s Super Hero Squad), and ol’ George has decided to cash in on these toys by making a full-fledged TV show about them.
Dumbest. Idea. Ever. Star Wars is a story full of death and betrayal and violence on a grand scale… Do we really need to see it retold for the preschool set?
I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised by this, though. Lucas doesn’t exactly have a sterling track record of late. First there were the prequel films, which disappointed pretty much everybody (and nobody’s ever forgiving him for that floppy-eared CGIdiot, Jar-Jar). The fourth Indiana Jones movie was one big yawn. The Clone Wars TV show started out as a silly mess, though I’ll admit it’s grown on me as its quality of storytelling slowly improved.
But all of these inferior projects make Lucas tons and tons of cash, because fans continue to hope that someday, somehow, he’ll create something good again. The original Star Wars trilogy was so earth-shattering, so game-changing, that it altered the landscape of pop culture forever. And no other intellectual property has come close to its level of cultural influence in the last century. Lucas clearly knew what cool was, once upon a time. But let’s face it: the only good Star Wars to come out since the 70s has been stuff from the extended universe — select books and games.
If George Lucas means for Star Wars to live forever, he should hand it over to someone who actually understands what fans love about it, and will treat it with the respect it deserves. But no, he won’t do that. He’ll just keep finding ways to betray all of us who once believed in the greatness of Star Wars by milking his cash cow until it bleeds.
Are there nothing but yes men working at Skywalker Ranch? Doesn’t anybody out there have the guts to speak up when George comes up with yet another monumentally stupid idea?