Wednesday, August 02, 2017

More thoughts on Clone Wars, StarWarsNotStarWars and Ad Astra

I just recently found out that Star Wars: Rebels, the show that replaced The Clone Wars was renewed for a 4th season (I petered out a couple of episodes into season 3).  It is also revealed that this will be the final season.  I don't know why it is ending much earlier than Clone Wars, although Filoni did point out the fact that knowing it was going to end made it a lot easier to plan for the ending, rather than having a whole season of partially completed episodes to deal with after the show ended (almost half of which subsequently got a release on Netflix as a "season 6".  Another two story arcs got Youtube roughs; all the voice acting and sound effects, etc. were recorded, but the animation was still at CGI storyboard state.  Another story arc was converted into a comic book series, and another double story arc that was converted into a novel.  This may seem like a lot of episodes, which it kind of does, but maybe some of them would have spilled over into a season 7.  The novel is 8 episodes, and the two story arcs that are roughs are another 8.  The comic book miniseries had to have been at least four. )  That's already twenty episodes—plus the 13 we got in the "Lost Missions."  There are references, if you can find them, to other arcs; enough for a season 7 and 8, at least, including episodes that take place concurrently with Revenge of the Sith.

It was not actually the intention of the Clone Wars team to end the show after season 5, it was a business decision by the new suits after the Disney/Lucasfilm buy-out to get content off of Cartoon Network and create new content for DisneyXD.  I do have to wonder if the greatly reduced story arc of Rebels has to do with it never matching Clone Wars in audience excitement.  Or maybe I'm just projecting.

Anyway, regardless of the second half of season 6, and seasons 7 and 8, which we never actually got to see as regular episodes anyway, I powered through the remainder of season 3 yesterday.  I'm actually feeling a bit burned out, after watching the better part of two seasons in just a few days.  The degree to which I'm still committed to watching all of the rest of them in relatively short order is fading.  I'm seriously considering skipping to episodes that I like and foregoing some of the mediocre filler episodes in between.  Even episodes that I've earlier said that I do like in season 4 are kind of... I dunno—I just don't want to watch them right now.  Maybe I just need to take a little break.

So, rather, I had a bit more free time and thought I'd play some of my Old Republic.  But it started trying to update the launcher, and something weird happened.  I couldn't ever get it to launch.  I have no idea what was happening, but it made me impatient after trying the better part of half an hour to get Old Republic started, so I said, "screw it" and played some Ultra Street Fighter IV instead.  It ended up being a bit of a frustrating evening.  And I now blame Star Wars generally, since I'm a little burned out on Clone Wars, and was frustrated with the Old Republic.

But don't worry.  I'll try again soon.  I still have some hopes that the Star Wars franchise as a whole can still deliver some entertainment to me.  I only hit you because I love you, baby.

Meanwhile, I've listened to a few more podcasts by Jason Anspach and Nick Cole.  I referenced one briefly a few posts ago, but most recently, I just listened to this one.  Although it covers some of the same ground as the last one (including the "playing with your action figures" concept) it also has some more detail about the alt.Force and other things.  I think Nick makes an excellent point in suggesting that thinking that you have to explain everything is a mistake.  Just go with it.  Spaceships travel faster than light?  Yeah, by now everybody who is interested in any kind of science fiction accepts that.  There's no reason to explain how it works.  If you want an explanation for yourself as a writer or developer or whatever—cool.  But trying to tell your readers about it?  That's fine for hard science fiction; in fact, that's probably the whole point.  But for popular science fiction, just go with it.  Star Wars never bothered explaining anything.  How did hyperspace work?  It actually doesn't make a lot of sense in the movies.  What the heck is a blaster?  It doesn't behave like a laser; it behaves like a regular gun with cooler sound and visual effects.  So what?  What the heck is a light-saber and how does it work?  Who cares?  The Force?  It's magic, pure and simple, and old Ben Kenobi is a wizard.  Uncle Owen even calls him one, and Death Star staff speak somewhat disparagingly to Darth Vader about his "sorcerous ways"—right up until he nearly chokes them, of course.  Anyway—the point is, this stuff is in the zeitgeist.  If Star Wars could get away with it, then certainly anyone dabbling in this field post-Star Wars can.  Don't take yourself too seriously.  This is Funyuns and Diet Coke.

Which is a good reminder to me, because I know that I'm sometimes prone to sperging out on something that interests me.  But nobody else tends to be, so it's best to leave it alone.  Also; I think I'm ready to start migrating AD ASTRA from being some RPG material to being a story.  I've got some character and plot concepts in mind, and I just need to get moving with it.  One thing to keep in mind is that Star Wars is really an ensemble piece.  Is Luke the star?  Yeah, probably, but it wouldn't be very interesting without Leia, and Han and R2 and 3PO, etc.

So, I've got a little more work to do, but having a gunfighter hotshot lead who's maybe a bit more like Peter Blood than Han Solo (from Captain Blood—the novel is great, but I've only read it twice and I've seen the Errol Flynn movie at least half a dozen times, so that's the more immediate inspiration) and his partner/Chewbacca will be a psionic knight who's basically one of the alternate costumes of Evil Ryu, except with an energy sword and shield instead of hadoukens and shoryukens.

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