TV’s house of the undying: Thoughts on Veronica Mars and The Clone Wars

Veronica Mars

I watched Veronica Mars live, and I’ve been intermittently watching the reruns over the last few months since they oh-so-conveniently air just when I get home from work, just when I am in need something mildly comforting that’s not news. So naturally I donated to the Kickstarter. It’s my first Kickstarter donation ever (sorry, RoboCop) and may very well be my last.

I know there are issues with the concept: I honestly don’t care. I never expected there to be more Veronica Mars, but if I can be a part of that, I don’t mind giving up a little cash. It’s not like Kristen Bell snuck up on me in an alley and threatened me with a taser. (Adorably!)

Now, I’m not one of those people who will go to any lengths to get a show back. I never mailed anything weird and random to a studio exec. Shows get canceled, and sometimes it’s sad, but eventually you will get over it. Such was Veronica Mars. I was sad. But I moved on. I enjoyed rediscovering the reruns, thinking there would never be any more, and that was fine.

Generally, I don’t mind things ending. I don’t need every little plot hole filled in. The show didn’t end on an upbeat note, but neither did it end abruptly. It got three full seasons, which is about as good as you can expect for a cult show that never set the ratings on fire.

(And yeah, as many imperfections as the second and third seasons of the show had, as ill-conceived as the rape plot(s) may have been, hey: At least it didn’t go out like Gilmore Girls. Yeouch.)

Now. The Clone Wars.

I don’t really have a personal connection to Clone Wars. It may be Star Wars, but it was never my Star Wars. I’m about a dozen times more broken up over the death of Google Reader, which I use almost hourly, than I will ever be over a cartoon I only watched a handful of times.

But I did watch the last episode, and I actually think it was a quite fitting end for the show: I mean, we all saw Revenge of The Sith, we all know where that war is going. Without specifics, it was the happiest ending fandom was going to get for that time period. Yes, it left questions unanswered, but very few questions in Star Wars go unanswered forever.

(Perhaps one of the most frustrating things in Star Wars fandom for me is how fans are never willing to let sleeping dogs lie. ‘We’ HAVE to know EVERYTHING about EVERYONE and we have to know it NOW. ‘We’ need to know the backstory of every single stupid alien in the cantina, even the ones who are technically no longer there. ‘We’ have to write an exhaustive Wookieepedia entry for every character that shows up on screen. A Wolfman is never just a Wolfman. It’s exhausting.)

But. I admit I look upon the efforts to ‘save’ the show with a healthy dose of skepticism. (Which, to be fair, I do with all ‘save my show’ campaigns.) I’m not saying I think this one is worthless – Lucasfilm’s statement was very vague, and fan outcry may mean a higher profile for the leftover episodes, or even show that there really is enough interest to sustain another series or wrap-up movie – but I don’t think Disney is going to change their mind on The Clone Wars. It’s over for all intents and purposes. I do feel bad for the cast and crew, who always come across as fabulous people and fans themselves, but they’re all very talented, work in an industry that does this regularly and I’m sure will all land on their feet. (And keep getting invited to cons, if there was any question.)

I mean, five seasons, for a very expensive (about $2M an episode – that’s $44/46M a season) animated show? That’s an excellent run. It’s more episodes than the greatest cartoons of my adolescence.

And you know, if the prequel era becomes a closed canon, and the sequel era becomes off-limits, we’re probably going to see a ton of books and comics that explore the fates of everyone left standing by the show anyway. Patience. We’ve all been here before.

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