I know I should be excited at the prospect of a new Star Wars series (I should be, right?), but the teaser for Star Wars Rebels only manages to evoke yawns of contempt.

In my imagination the time period time between Star Wars Episode 3 and 4 charts out in one of two ways. The first way is stunningly boring as the Empire systematically dismantles the Republic, which is really more of a federation of autonomous worlds, and installs a vertical system accountable directly to Coruscant. The second way is tremendously dark as Imperial Star Destroyers bombard dissident planets from orbit. Neither is Star Wars.

Consequently, the rise of the Alliance to Restore the Republic will either emerge out of high level political subversion e.g. Battlestar Galactica on Coruscant or, as the Episode 4 crawl suggests, terrorist strikes against Imperial holdings.

But Adam, the Rebel Alliance set out to restore democracy to the galaxy far far away.

Yeah tell that to the file clerk working in a shipyard that a squadron of X-Wings just blew to hell.

The Empire worked as an antagonist because they were obviously evil. Lucas’ refusal to put down the typewriter in the prequels turned the Empire into the Tea Party’s wet dream solution to big government. “Democracy dies to applause,” or so we are told at the end of Revenge of the Sith. In the eyes of the average Republic/Imperial citizen, the Empire isn’t an evil empire but an attempt at efficient government and a pillar of stability in the wake of perceived Jedi insurrection. Should we then look forward to an exciting first season of Rebels where the Alliance tries to win hearts and minds, lest they look like a bunch of left-wing militants. Throw in some Jedi-mysticism or talk of midichlorians, and the Rebel Alliance is about two steps away from being Al-Qaeda.

 

Thanks, George. The absolute shit that is your “wrote it in three days” conclusion to the trilogy that nobody asked for is ruining things before they are even made.

Even if the writers do find a way to sort through the creative dysentery that is the canon prequels, they will still be stuck dealing with the structural limitations of a prequel. This is why The Clone Wars was only interesting when dealing with the Clones. There are absolutely zero stakes – other than emotional angst – when canon characters come into play.

Nothing that involves Bail Organa, Mon Mothma, Lando Calrissian (and gods help us all if Lando shows up as a recurring character), Han Solo, or Darth Vader is ever going to have any real consequence to it in a prequel series.

Well that’s fine, Adam. They’ll just have to create new characters for the series.

Right, because there were so many episodes of The Clone Wars without Anakin, Obi-Wan, Mace Windu, the droids, or Yoda. If you want to attract the fan base, you need to make concessions to fan service. Do you know what happens when producers say, “We want to take the existing franchise in a new direction?” You get Stargate Universe – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just that new directions are prone to getting canceled because they piss off the die hards who refuse to let things evolve.

Adam, aren’t you just one of those die hards?

First, shut up.

Second, no. I’m a person who objects to bad story telling. It just so happens there is more of that in the second trilogy than in the first. Furthermore, I object to “prequal” culture. What it should mean is exploring something new within an existing mythos. The reality is recycled stories tethered to pre-existing touch stones within the original works. This is why episode 7, 8, and 9 are moving into the comfy rent controlled neighborhood where the post-Endor Star Wars extended universe novels used to live. Who needs Admiral Thrawn and Mara Jade when we can bring back Darth Vader and the Emperor through some sleight of hand.

Considering the thousands of years of internal history between Knights of the Old Republic and The Phantom Menace, is there a good reason why we can’t live there for a while? Why not tell a story far removed from the dysfunctional House of Skywalker. Perhaps a series should try appealing to the millions of gamers who flocked to KOTOR, KOTOR 2, and The Old Republic as the initial fan base? It could be a proper transmedia experience, something like Defiance, only better. Is that too much to ask for?

Yeah, probably. Okay. Fine. Pass the Totinos Pizza Rolls.