I've seen several reviews by people, and they all sort of agree in the same direction, so I know the general consensus for fans. I was at work last night and was able to compose a lot of thoughts about how to write this journal. I think I rewrote the journal in my head 4 times, trying to put my best foot forward with my thoughts of TCW by Lucas and Filoni.
So, I want to tell a short, quick story. You'll understand why soon enough.
A true story about the creator of "All In The Family", Norman Lear, and a phone conversation he had with actress Jean Stapleton, who played the clueless Edith, wife of the show's buffoonish bigot, Archie Bunker.
The show had been on for about 10 seasons and things had begun to change. After being a show that takes place in Archie Bunker's home, it was now going to be called "Archie Bunker's Place" and the show would take place in a bar. Jean talked to Norman about how her character was no longer needed after all those years, that there was no reason to stay with the show. Norman asked her about how to handle the character. Jean, being a practical, no-nonsense actress, suggested "Why don't you just have her killed?"
Norman was quiet on the other end of the phone for a long time. He could not bring himself to accept such an idea. Jean shrugged at his emotional silence "It's not a big deal. This is a TV show, Edith is a fictional character. SHE ISN'T REAL."
Norman Lear quietly replied "She's real to me."
I think I've seen as much emotion for TCW as one could ever have for any fandom. Maybe more, because the cancellation has certainly made emotions run high. For many of us. TCW had become real. And now it is over.
Season 6. they are fine episodes. The adventures of Fives is exciting, and I get that fans of clone characters want to resolve the mystery of Order 66.
I find it interesting that fan sites and reviewers from podcasts and blogs, in light of Season 6, have made it fashionable to dismiss the Prequel Trilogy. I get it. Many fans of TCW simply like the new explanations rather than continue defending the older versions. Lucas never claimed the Clones were victims when he made the films. He portrayed them as conspirators, and it made sense to me. The Jedi would never detect foul play because for the troopers it was just duty. "We were just following orders", and no emotion to betray their thoughts. But Fans of TCW didn't want to see their favorite characters become treacherous psychopaths, so this arc was important. The clones are as much victims as the Jedi.
Anakin and Padme have the obligatory adventure, I think it's nice for fans of Jar Jar to see him go out on a positive note. maybe the episode isn't good, but it's part of George's Psychology now. He's going to always build Jar Jar Binks to be a hero, and I'm sure this episode is his way of sticking it to the Binks haters that hurt him back with Episode I. Which is fine. It's his final "F*** you" to the haters.
The Yoda Arc is a cool adventure, and George wanted to tie a lot of loose ends up with the Prequels. I didn't think this adventure was necessary, because to me there was no reason to explore the "Force Ghost" immortality issue. But it was important to many fans, and we got to see a cameo of Ahsoka and a tranquil illusion that made us see what could have been if Sidious never existed. An illusion, but also an idea of an alternate kind of reality that appealed to Yoda.
My thoughts on it are bland, but it is an adequate way to end the series
Truth be told, I wrote a much longer review with a lot more thought, but I decided to post this shorter journal.
My love of Star Wars is subdued ever since the Season 5 finale. I would not say I was one of those "Han Shot First" people, but I'm old school. I had found stability and reliability in the old continuity. It made sense to me. Now, all my notions of Star Wars history have been rearranged to suit a larger agenda. I've accepted a lot of changes. Some were minor, some were practical, some made no sense at all, and I suspect some changes were George's way of sticking it to his haters that criticized his changes in "The Phantom Menace."
I used to defend the Prequels from haters, back when Phantom Menace came out. I had the love for it, and I was able to forgive and overlook a lot of changes. George made the changes he felt he needed, and the glass was still half full for me.
Here we are, 2014. I watch Season 6 after getting my heart ripped out from the season 5 finale and all I can think is "George made the changes he felt he needed." The glass is half empty now. All these loose ends he wanted to tie up...well, they just were never important to me. I have only one or two loose ends I'd like to have answered.
I cannot bring myself to love Star Wars as easily as I used to. I'm rather afraid love it. I have come to see that everything I found reliable and acceptable has been dismissed. the fansites tell me "Novels and comics don't count", "It makes more sense this way", "So Be It!" and "Because F*** you".
I'll still watch Star Wars, I'll give rebels a try. But I won't love it in the same way. I won't buy any more novels, or grow to love characters. I got burned real good after growing to enjoy Barriss Offee. I know, I know, I'm bringing that up again. But that is really the sticking point behind any thoughts I have for TCW and Season 6.
And I know why they changed continuity with the character. everyone has given the best possible explanations, and reviewers and critics love that episode ""The Wrong Jedi". IGN.com calls it the best episode of the series, and everyone stresses that she needed to betray Ahsoka for the story to work. I can only think that maybe a different story should have been used, but that is my lone opinion. Season 5 finale could have just been a bland episode arc, but it's too late to debate any of it. It's pointless to debate anyway. Lucas and Filoni will win all the arguments. All fans can do is express a catharsis.
I'm told she did it for noble reasons, she was protesting corruption, she was misguided, she will avoid Order 66 on Felucia, there are still a lot of possible endings, always a chance at redemption because she's still alive.
But it was the one change to continuity that finally broke me. I was ready to quit Star Wars quietly when they brought back Darth Maul, I was finally getting tired of the continuity changes, especially now that movie canon can be violated. Season 5 was just too much. I made the mistake of buying the novels that are now dismissed, made the mistake of writing fan fiction and seeing all the potential in Barriss as a character. A part of me wonders what might have been if I had focused on another character, or started with a different novel. As a writer, I became too attached to the characters, came to love the character of Barriss and her continuity story too much. And like Anakin, I would deal with the devil to change what has come to pass or what could be a tragic future.
I've asked fansites about the controversy, tried to express my grief, tried to ask all the right questions, even on Filoni's FB page. I've gotten some sympathy from others, I've had a person tell me "Barriss is S***" and another guy expound on how there are so many thousands of other stories to enjoy in star Wars. But no real answers to the one loose end that I inquierd about. No one from the fansites has responded to my concerns or my questions, except for Wookie Gunner. She has been very sympathetic, and I appreciate her love for the character also.
All I know is, even with the explanations, the vision Yoda had of the tranquil temple will be a bittersweet moment. Barriss is a villain now, and will never be a part of any tranquil Jedi setting. She will never be a part of any group pictures with other Jedi in the heroes corner, she doesn't even get to have a noble death like Fives, Satine, Tarpals, etc. If the traitor had been Fives, or Rex or Aayla Secura, Somebody else would be writing this blog instead of me. There would still be grief and pain. Barriss takes the fall, so that others can be remembered as Heroes in Lucas' vision. She is a tool for a greater agenda, and George made the changes he felt he needed. To quote Eric Goldman of IGN.com: "So Be It".
Please understand, I'm not angry or having another panic spaz out. I'm just putting it in perspective. A lot of you have felt this pain or have sympathized, and I have greatly appreciated it. For me, all of this ties together my feelings about TCW, Star Wars continuity in general and the impact it has had on me. I'm going to be okay. I'm probably a little numb from knowing this journey with TCW is finally over. All the arguments or discussions will become past tense, all resolutions will be speculated upon with anticipation, but not much else will be going on with TCW.
For what it's worth, meeting other fellow fans here on DA has been a blessing. You've helped me cope and kept me sane. I don't want to become one of those angry bitter ex-fans. Seeing other people's art and stories has helped me see Star Wars in a greater light when I have felt alone in my thoughts
Truth be told, I will never be able to fully understand TCW the same way a lot of you enjoy it, and many of you will not fully understand the perception of Star Wars I have had. It boils down to riding that bus with George Lucas all the way with his ideas or being one of the fans who gets off the bus after Episode VI, or Episode III or gets off the bus now that Season 6 is done. New fans will get on board for Rebels and Episode VII, some of us will leave shortly. I have the feeling my stop may be coming soon. I want to ride it for a long time still, I just need to overcome the hurdles, to not be afraid to love Star Wars again.
Season 6 ended as well as could be expected, but I will probably not bring myself to take continuity seriously anymore, the attempts to tie everything to the PT have become rather pointless for me now. Which is ironic since they are now trying to streamline continuity, they are just now cutting away all the different levels of canon to have ONE ultimate Star Wars canon. Ironic, to finally have ONE official history, and I don't even care anymore because all my attempts to hold onto an official history over the past 30 years have been finally shattered by one episode.
I know some of you would bring comfort, to explain that I will get over the pain, That Barriss Offee and all the charcters of TCW are fictional. She isn't real. And you'd be right. I will move on from the grief at some point. For now, all I can do is say "She's real to me."