Forest Whitaker Playing a Clone Wars Character Made Me Cry
I’ve mentioned before on this site that it was The Clone Wars that gave me a love of Star Wars. I felt a true bond with Ahsoka Tano’s journey as her trials mimicked my own life transitions. The show made the Prequels make sense as they both explain the Clone Wars and Anakin Skywalker’s fall to Darth Vader. They showcased that many women and races played major roles in the galaxy. It’s not just the white dudes that save the day. It justified everything I ever loved about the franchise, and I have the podcast to prove my love of the show.
When the Disney buyout of Star Wars happened, I real fear hit me. Clone Wars got cancelled as it was a show on Cartoon Network. We were lucky that season six was put on Netflix, but there were plans for season seven and eight that would never happen. The show was supposed to run post Order 66. It was supposed to detail what happened to Ahsoka, Captain Rex, and others in the wake of the war ending. I cried! I cried so hard for the stories that we would never see.
My biggest fear was that Clone Wars would be lost with the Extended Universe canon that had been thrown out. The years of my life dedicated to this show would possibly be for nothing. Already many fans scoffed at this “children’s show” never giving it a chance. They didn’t want to watch a Cartoon Network show not realizing that it became the PG-13 war story that George Lucas envisioned. They didn’t see how much it added to the overall story of Star Wars.
Luckily, Clone Wars was added to the official canon regardless of the network it aired on. We’ve gotten many books filling in the gaps like Dark Disciple that would have been the second half of season six. There’s a new Ahsoka Tano book coming in October that I can’t wait to get my hands on. These are great, but one thing and one thing only truly justified that I didn’t have to fear that Clone Wars would be forgotten:
Star Wars: Rebels
I didn’t give Rebels a chance at first. I was too hurt that Clone Wars was being replaced with this new team on Disney XD. There was no way they would ever get me to watch it without reason. That reason came with the season one finale revealing that Ahsoka Tano was helping the Rebel Alliance. The other was the revelation that my favorite Star Wars character of all time was coming back. The season two trailer featured Captain Rex, and I once again broke down in tears. I get chills every time I watch the fan reactions to the trailer at Celebration 2015.
Here are fans cheering for the characters I love. They didn’t forget them either, and the Clone Wars was just as important as they always were. Now though, I wasn’t alone. I knew for a fact there were many Clone Wars fans out there itching for these guys to be important again.
Whenever I talk about Clone Wars and Rebels with fans I meet, I still run into the same problems. Many don’t give these shows a chance, because they’re “kids shows” on “kids networks.” They didn’t see the return of Darth Maul. They didn’t see the beginning foundations of the Rebel Alliance that Luke, Han, and Leia fought in the Original Trilogies. Hell, they didn’t see Princess Leia as a teenager playing a double agent to gain knowledge from the Empire to give to the Rebels. They didn’t see how Ahsoka discovered that Darth Vader was her old master Anakin Skywalker. They didn’t see their epic final battle. There’s this mentality of if it’s not on the big silver screen, then it wasn’t relevant to the story.
Now, we have a break. Entertainment Weekly revealed that in the coming Rogue One movie Forest Whitaker is going to play a Clone Wars character. He’s portraying Saw Gererra from the season five Onderon arc. Saw was an extremist who often acted on his own to aid the Rebels. His actions brought both positive and negative results.
Once again, I cried. Here we had a Clone Wars character in the main movies. There was no way that fans could ignore the importance of Clone Wars anymore. It was now justified in the movie canon that this little Emmy Award winning show meant something. If anything, I hope this brings more fans to Clone Wars. I hope they get to experience for the first time what a great ride it is from start to finish. I hope young boys look up to Obi-Wan, Anakin, Bail Organa, and others as role models. I hope young girls get to see female Jedi, Senators, and Duchesses fighting alongside the men for peace.
Mostly, I hope this opens the door for more of the animated shows in the mainstream movies. I would love to see the best bounty hunter Cad Bane in the Boba Fett movie. There was a lost season seven story of Cad Bane taking Boba under his care. Frankly, I don’t care about a Fett movie at all. They will have my attention, though, if Cad Bane is in it. I don’t want a Han Solo movie. I want post-Clone Wars Obi-Wan struggling on Tatooine as he leaves the ways of the Jedi Order behind. Of course, it would have to star Ewan McGregor. I would love to see the Ghost crew from Rebels in the main movies. It’s important to know that the first person ever to fly a B-Wing was a Twi’lek woman, Hera Syndulla, who was the daughter of a Clone Wars freedom fighter.
This canon builds on itself. It makes the stories richer as you experience them all. I’m so relieved that the creators of Rogue One embraced Clone Wars.