It’s been a long time — probably May 1999 to be exact — but I’m actually excited about Star Wars again.
First of all, there’s the upcoming Star Wars: Rebels. I’ll always be an OT kid, so considering this takes place closer to that era, it already has me more intrigued than The Clone Wars did initially. Seeing the clip that was shown at WonderCon recently, complete with those old familiar TIE Fighter sounds, really got me excited for this. Plus, it’s the newness of it; we’ve been getting hit over the head with Clone Wars-era stuff for nigh on eleven years now. It’ll be nice to see some different characters and situations for a change.
Not that I’m entirely soured on The Clone Wars. In fact, I just finished Season 3 in a marathon seven-hour burst this afternoon. And the leap in quality from the first two seasons to this one is remarkable. There’s a three-episode arc near the latter half of the season that has more insight into Anakin’s character and more of a sense of mystery and wonder about the Force than anything the prequels offered up. How much did this season grab me? When Chewbacca showed up in the final episode, rather than rolling my eyes at the coincidence, I cheered.
And finally, the last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away. Meaning that Disney has declared the Expanded Universe for all intents and purposes finished. They’ll still keep the really popular stuff in print, under a new Legacy banner, but the new films will not use any of the material, and any books and comics going forward will be free of the burden of over twenty years of frequently bad continuity. It’s really the best of both worlds; those that love the EU still have their stories (albeit nothing new coming their way), Disney’s free to pick the really good stuff and jettison the rest, and the franchise gets a clean start. Hell, I’m actually considering reading a Star Wars book again.
The funny thing is, none of this excitement has anything to do with the upcoming Episode VII. Not that I’m dreading it, but there’s really just not enough info on it for me to form an opinion. We don’t even have a confirmed cast right now. So while I’m not ready to write it off, my level of enthusiasm is somewhat muted. But maybe my newfound excitement for the other aspects bodes well for how I’ll feel once we start getting some concrete details. For all the years of angst and hand-wringing over midichlorians and Jar Jar Binks, it actually feels like a fun time to be a Star Wars fan again.