Monday, February 14, 2011

Darth Revan in Clone Wars

In the this video, Dave Filoni explains that Darth Revan was very nearly included in the recent Clone Wars Episode Ghosts of Mortis. He (or she?) was modeled and the scene was animated in rough form before they decided not to use him. I asked a few weeks ago why the cartoon was so bad, and this video does a good job of explaining it. The writers and Lucas apparently spend an enormous amount of energy agonizing over how the force "works," and not remotely enough time on the basics of good storytelling.

*Buy Darth Revan toys at eBay.


  1. I think it's so terrible because it's "for kids", and they just don't care.

  2. @Carsonist: You're half-right. George Lucas thinks it's for kids (and just doesn't care what anyone else may think). The producers and animators think it's for adults (as exampled by the many making-of and extras they shoot for the DVD sets).

    The cartoon is actually extremely frustrating. If it was just terrible, none of us would watch it. But the animation is pretty great, the voice acting is usually strong, and, well, it -is- Star Wars. But yeah, the storytelling, sheesh, hire someone to jingle keys in front of Lucas whenever he seems about to make a comment during production meetings. "This episode would be better if we used more Jar Jar instead of--" "Hey George! Look, shiny things!"

  3. honestly, the clone wars has really grown as a series. as someone who absolutely loathed the prequels, i have become pretty fond of this show. the story-telling isn't nearly as bad as you might think. jar jar has only really been a prominent character in maybe 4 or 5 episodes. and the whole "it's bad because it's for kids" argument sounds like a comment someone who hasn't even seen the series would say. people die and get tortured, and there have been many instances where the tone of the series really dips into dark areas. the only frustrating part is that the show tries to correct george's mistakes too often (successfully) and does a good job at fleshing out the characters and even making anakin seem like the man obi-wan was describing in a new hope. why is this a bad thing? because the series is a prelude to revenge of the sith and all of that effort gets erased by a whiny hayden and a poorly written script.

    why do you presume that the show is bad? i say at least give it an honest chance before dumping the hate on it because of a prejudice spawned by those god awful prequel movies. that video you posted doesn't really do shit for anyone to pass any sort of judgment on the show. i love this blog to death, but i don't understand the clone wars hate.
    2 cents.

  4. I often watch the show with my kids, including the last three episodes. I'm not "presuming" at all.

  5. sorry, i just assumed you hadn't seen any of the episodes from that post weeks ago.

    i know it isn't a consistently stellar series (but no show ever really is); that first senate-centric half of this season dragged. but it is an animated show that is entertaining for both adults & kids, set in the star wars universe and they are probably doing the best they can do with the pre-existing canon/universe george created in his crappy films. it really is a shame there are constraints from having such crappy bookends and a control freak boss with his hand in everything, but the result is oftentimes surprisingly pleasant.

  6. @Anonymous: I watch it all the time and own the dvds. I admittedly like it more often than I dislike it. But, let's be honest, the bad eps are really quite bad. Like unwatchable-bad.

    I agree with you that they seem to be doing the best they can given what I can imagine are some pretty serious constraints. The enthusiasm that the animators and producers exhibit in the dvd extras is really endearing, and you can really sense the hand of George holding them back from taking the series to that next level.

    I think what kills it for me most often is actually less the plotting and more the dialogue. It's just often badly written and very sign-posty-y. The fact that many of the villains are a serious fighting challenge for Jedi is also annoying to me (Hondo? Really?). Like you, I think the show has sort of boxed itself in by playing within the boundaries of the Ep2 and Ep3 movies, and I'm curious how it will resolve that with certain characters (Ahsoka, as one obvious example). If it goes really dark, that could be interesting.

    Overall, as I wrote, I'm frustrated by the show, but I still like to watch it, as it's better than not having it at all.

  7. Hi,
    I kind of agree with points made by both the anonymous poster and exactwords. The Clone Wars is a pretty damn enjoyable show. The animation, the voice-acting and the mood/color palette (coming from an artist's perspective) are all top notch. It definitely pushes the boundaries of what you call a "kid show."

    A lot of its faults come from the dialogue sometimes and mostly due to the constraints imposed by the universe that was handed to them by George Lucas. I hate the overuse of iconic lines and the way too obvious nods to the movies. If I hear that damn "I have a bad feeling about this" line one more time... Having Darth Revan in the episode with have been a terrible shoe-horned addition.
    There have been episodes that I absolutely didn't care for. Overall though, I rather enjoy this weekly dose of Star Wars. I'm intrigued by the possibilities of Ahsoka's fate. The good aspects greatly outweigh the bad. I also prefer having the Clone Wars than not.

    There is a huge prequel stigma attached to this show. I also agree with Anonymous in that it really blows that these characters are so fleshed out over the course of the series and then they go back to being cardboard cut-outs in Ep.3.


  8. Wait a sec... Are we talking about the same show? I've watched all the episodes so far, even saw the "movie" in the cinema. I agree that the animation is amazing, and it has improved over time, but the stories are really badly written. It's called "Clone Wars" and I think it should stick to showing military campaigns and stories that show how bad-ass the Jedi Knights were supposed to be.
    Ventress wanted to kill Count Dooku but we all knew she wasn't going to succeed, just like we know Padme is not going to be assasinated by some relative of Darth Maul. I think the military strategies that we've been shown are amateurish, proof the Jedi are gonna lose the war. And what's with the one degree of separation of new characters? Darth Maul's brother? Yeah, right. What next? Yoda's thirteenth cousin, Han Solo's Uncle, baby Han, R2-D2's evil twin D2-R2?
    I'm not even sure kids like the series, but I'm certain all the political intrigue is boring even to us adults.
    To Mr Lucas I would say, don't worry about the Force, show us good war-related episodes (HBO war miniseries are really watchable), show us why Jedi Knights were bad-ass.
    I wonder if the ending of the series has already been written. Will Asoka die or turn to the Dark Side or be digitally inserted into some future version of the prequels?

  9. As cool as the idea would have been, the thing you have to realize is that neither Bane nor Revan could have/would have communed with the Son. Bane tried and failed to take over the body of Darth Zannah using Essence Transfer, but when her will proved stronger, his spirit was banished into a state of almost non-existence. (at least, that's what the book says) Meanwhile, more importantly, Revan was canonically redeemed; he died as a Jedi and a servant of the Light, and so the last thing his spirit would ever be doing would be guiding an acolyte of the dark side.