In my blog entry/movie review “On Clones and The Clone Wars” I try to make the argument that the movie fails as an adult product–of which Star Wars had amassed millions of fans (not just sci-fi fans, but folks who grew up with the series as a defining part of their childhood, and a cultural reference)–but succeeds as a kid’s product, which is what it intended to do.
For more on the end of Star Wars fandom read this from the New York Times:
Let me once again reiterate that the audience for this film was kids. Unfortunately, the audience really ready for the film was made up of adults with much higher expectations (and a lot of pent up impatience from having two bad films precede this)–and frankly it matters more to them that Lucas pay attention to them, the loyalists, rather than pandering to a new set of toy-buying kids. Lucas blundered here, yes.
However, can you imagine a kid’s series on TV with a better universe to play with, better settings, better graphics (minus the marionette characters) ? Yep, those characters we loved have had the final bits of real character squeezed from their puppet forms…but perhaps Lucas is hoping that the kids will discover the Star Wars movies again. Maybe Clone Wars is a metaphorical giant hand with fingers pointing back to Episodes 1-6, even as another finger points to the Wal-mart toy shelves.
So, your kids might be benefiting from Lucas’ franchise and cleverness, while the jilted adults are smoldering in the back room.