by David Itzkoff, from The New York Times Arts Beat Blog: “Chewbacca, the wild and wooly Wookiee who fought at Han Solo’s side through the three original “Star Wars” movies, will appear in the two-part season finale of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” the Cartoon Network animated series, with some assistance from Peter Mayhew, the actor who has portrayed Chewbacca in George Lucas’s live-action films.”
“Though Lucasfilm Animation is keeping specific plot details under wraps, the “Clone Wars” finale, scheduled for April 1, will see Chewbacca cross paths with Ahsoka Tano, the Jedi apprentice to Anakin Skywalker.”
Why does George Lucas feel the need to elaborate or reintroduce every single aspect of the Original Trilogy into the Prequel storyline? Don’t get me wrong, I love ”Star Wars: The Clone Wars”, but why bother creating all these interesting new characters like Cad Bane, Ahsoka Tano, and Captain Rex if you’re just going to spend every week digging up classic Star Wars characters for glorified cameos?
Boba Fett, Bossk, Greedo, Sy Snootles, Tarkin and now Chewbacca? It’s not just characters either, as familiar locales like Jabba’s Palace and Mos Eisley Cantina have been revisited, and don’t get me started on a preview for “The Citadel” where Ugnaughts (those pig creatures from The Empire Strikes Back) are utilizing a carbonite chamber to freeze Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. Apparently the Ugnaughts are a species born solely to press buttons and pull levers that freeze people.
Really? Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi were frozen in carbonite? That’s odd, because I seem to recall the idea of freezing a human in carbonite was a new, startling concept to Lando Calrissian and Boba Fett.
“This facility is crude, but it should be adequate to freeze Skywalker for his journey to the Emperor.” Sure, there’s a lot of wiggle room in that statement by Darth Vader – but he’s still not sure about it. Lando says, “Lord Vader, we only use this facility for carbon freezing. If you put him in there it might kill him.
“I do not want the Emperor’s prize damaged. We will test it on Captain Solo.” OK so, obviously I don’t expect Vader to waste precious time recollecting the time he was frozen in carbonite and rescued Grand Moff Tarkin, but seriously – these things are best left vague and unexplored. That was the thing, there was a RISK to putting Han Solo in carbonite – but by using it on characters that we know will survive, I’m not sure why it’s necessary.
Instead of exploring more interesting aspects of the Clone Wars, it seems the creative team is more concerned with coming up with absurd ideas to get classic characters on screen. Wait, did I say classic characters? I’m sorry, I should have mentioned Darth Maul and Qui-Gon Jinn, who have also resurfaced in the series. Obviously it isn’t just the Clone Wars team – blame should be placed directly on the shoulders of George Lucas, who felt it necessary to include Chewbacca in the prequels (and have the Wookiee carry Yoda around on his shoulders).
In the early script treatments of ”Revenge of the Sith”, a young Han Solo was part of the story – a little boy raised by Wookiees on their homeworld of Kashyyyk. No, I’m not being sarcastic – that’s actually true.
Now that Chewbacca is showing up in the ”Clone Wars”, I guarantee we’ll see a thirteen-year-old Han Solo show up at some point, and who knows, maybe he’ll get into a playground brawl with baby Boba Fett and we’ll finally know how their epic rivalry all began… juice boxes.
Look, if you want to make a series set in the Original Trilogy timeline, then by all means please do! I would love to see that – just don’t take these characters who were rather insignificant in the ’70s and ’80s (Bossk, Greedo, Tarkin) and pretend they were major players in the Prequel timeline.
I can’t wait for Season 4, where Anakin and Obi-Wan visit Dagobah and Hoth and crash land on the forest moon of Endor – or perhaps they’ll visit Tatooine for the eight-hundredth time. It seems like the Clone Wars guys are attempting to flesh out the bare bones plot of the prequels, like a kid coloring in pages in a coloring book – except they’re not staying inside the lines and I keep thinking the picture looked better in black and white.