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Genndy Tartakovsky’s ‘Star Wars: Clone Wars’ Should Absolutely Be Added to Disney+

Disney+ has just about every piece of content you would want to indulge in that is currently available and relevant to the long-running space opera franchise…

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Star Wars: Clone Wars

“I doubt even master Qui-Gon could have prepared a Jedi for this.”

Disney+ is no doubt the future home for legally accessing all Star Wars-related television shows and movies that are canonically (and some that are even non-canonically) part of cinema’s largest intellectual property to date. From 1977’s Star Wars to its first-ever live-action television series, The Mandalorian, Disney+ has just about every piece of content you would want to indulge in that is currently available and relevant to the long-running space opera franchise — with the exception of one series that is missing in action on the streaming service: Star Wars: Clone Wars

Star Wars: Clone Wars is an award-winning animated micro-television series collaboration between Lucasfilm and American-Russian animator Genndy Tartakovsky. It is currently not available for streaming on Disney+, or even obtainable in-stores through physical media anymore. Despite being labeled under the “Legends” banner of content that no longer resides in the current Star Wars canon, Clone Wars is undoubtedly more significant to the franchise’s history than the majority of television broadcasts and direct-to-video series that have been endorsed and resurrected so far on Disney+.

It is a series well worth the binge that has oddly gone unrecognized by the House that the Mouse built, despite its critical acclaim and high fandom appraisal from over the years. Thousands of new and old Star Wars fans are missing out on what is arguably the best interpretation of the franchise outside of the Skywalker Saga. With only one physical release since its television debut, it is an absolute crime that this micro-series has never been released directly by the owners of the show for consumption in any feasible form since the year in which it ended. Now, with the rise of Disney+, it is the perfect time to bring the original Star Wars: Clone Wars show back with a fresh coat of high definition paint for a larger audience.

Two of The Same Wars, But Not Clones

Genndy Tartakovsky, who created the stories and animation direction for shows such as Samurai Jack, Dexter’s Laboratory, and most recently Adult Swim’s Primal, was hired to collaborate with George Lucas in 2003 to create the first-ever adaptation of what is arguably one of Star Wars universe’s most important series of events, one which truly ignited the story of the saga. As all Star Wars fans know, the Clone Wars was the three-year war that would inevitably see the fall of the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Council, as it gave rise to the Sith’s first-ever Galactic Empire, overseen by Emperor Palpatine in the original trilogy.

For those unfamiliar with this series but are aware of its successor, Star Wars: Clone Wars has nothing to do with the three-dimensional animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars; though these shows do take place during the same period of time, they are different interpretations of the same string of events. The original hand-drawn and partially computer-animated Clone Wars was intended to advertise, coincide, and explain the events that happened directly before Revenge of the Sith, as the film had not even hit theaters yet. As stated before, it was a micro-series, so the show was broadcasted in bits rather than taking up the standard half-hour or hour television time slot. Eventually, however, it was released in two volumes that pieced the whole story together as two short movies.

Star Wars: Clone Wars premiered before the lore of the prequels really began to rapidly expand into multiple forms of media, including the books, comics, and video games that have become the standards for its mythology and chronology. For nearly five years, Clone Wars had been the only on-screen interpretation of the events that came before the Battle of Coruscant — until the CGI The Clone Wars series began with director Dave Filoni in 2008. One can argue that The Clone Wars expanded upon what its predecessor attempted to accomplish in such a short time span, and was able to do so through multiple seasons and more in-depth story arcs.

Star Wars: Clone Wars built the foundation that expanded upon the two established armies that appeared in Attack of the Clones, while also introducing new additions to the fray who would become iconic characters that would play key roles in Revenge of the Sith, such as the IG-100 Magnaguards, General Grevious, and even Commander Cody. For the longest time, Clone Wars was considered partially canon due to aspects that had been retconned in its successor series The Clone Wars, until Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm finally pulled it out of the official timeline for good. In its last few seasons, The Clone Wars unsurprisingly does take inspiration from its predecessor’s final chapters, and even has some noticeably similar story lines, such as one where Anakin sees a vision of his future.

So Why is This Series Not Available on Disney+?

So why is Star Wars: Clone Wars not available on Disney+ currently you may ask? That could be because of two separate reasons, but it is somewhat obvious. The first is that the story has not been considered part of the Star Wars canon since Disney purchased Lucasfilm. The second is that the rights to this series are somewhat of a public mystery — although the former is more likely as to why it sadly may never re-release in the future.

Judging by Disney’s ability to stream and create new episodes of Dave Filoni’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars (which also initially aired on Cartoon Network), it is more than likely that the rights for the original show are far from the issue. Both series were completely developed in-house by Lucasfilm, meaning that Disney by default should have full ownership of Clone Wars. Its displacement in the timeline could potentially be holding it back, as audiences could easily think the series is part of the canon story when it is not. Disney and Lucasfilm have consistently put their foot down on what is canon and what is not for Star Wars, but there are still shorts and various mini-series available on Disney+ that are not canon either.

Perhaps the title’s near-identical similarity to its ongoing successor is another reason for its exclusion from the streaming service, but until it comes into the light again we may never know the truth behind its disappearance. If you are interested in watching Genndy Tartakovsky’s interpretation of Star Wars today, you are in luck, as several people have created full cuts of the DVD releases for all three Star Wars: Clone Wars seasons as one YouTube video. Whether you are just hearing about this show or looking to rewatch it again, the full series can be viewed in high definition by clicking the link right here.

Journalist major and part-time film writer. I have always held high interests in the fields of professional writing and communications. You can find me with my head deep in the espionage genre, on a collectathon, or in a kayak upstream. I’ll always be first in line for the next Hideo Kojima or Masahiro Sakurai game.

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Wrestling

Greatest Royal Rumble Matches: The First-Ever Tag Team Tables Match

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First-Ever Tag Team Tables Match

Royal Rumble 2000

The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz

The 2000 edition of the Royal Rumble, which was held at the Madison Square Garden on January 23, is without a doubt one of the best WWE pay-per-views ever! It’s an absolute classic filled with memorable moments such as The Rock’s unforgettable Royal Rumble win and the street fight between Triple H and Cactus Jack. It also featured the first-ever Tag Team Championship Tables Match between two of the most significant tag teams a the time.

The WWF WWE has always had some truly amazing tag teams— from The British Bulldogs to The Rockers to The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express— but it was at the turn of the century that the tag team division really started heating up with competitors taking it to a whole new level in jaw-dropping hardcore matches, table matches, ladder matches and of course, TLC matches.

Leading this resurgence were The Hardy Boyz and the recent ECW defectors, The Dudley Boyz and at the 2000 Royal Rumble, the two teams would showcase their stuff in an unforgettable championship match that featured high-flying, no holds barred action.

The First-Ever Tag Team Tables Match

It was the second match of the night and it was a match that would foreshadow the legendary TLC series between The Hardyz, The Dudleyz and fellow tag team competitors Edge and Christian. Taking the opportunity to impress a large pay-per-view audience, the two teams delivered a phenomenal showcase filled with several high-octane stunts and high-risk maneuvers.

In order to win the match, you had to put both members of the opposing team through a table. This meant that fans would be treated to seeing at least three tables smashed before the end of the match. However, these trailblazers wouldn’t settle for just three; by the time the bell rang, at least nine tables had been destroyed.

The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz Royal Rumble 2000

The match only lasted about twelve minutes, but it was an astonishing tag team match no less, and one filled with plenty of highlights including a mid-rope Powerbomb that sent Matt Hardy through a table. At one point, the Hardy Boyz gained the advantage with a double superplex to Bubba Ray and after a devastating chair hit across Bubba’s forehead, Matt and Jeff Hardy simultaneously performed a diving leg drop and a diving splash, sending their opponent through the table.

The match eventually carried onto the entrance as the Dudley Boyz stacked two tables on top of two other tables under a balcony. In a moment that would define what the tag team division would like over the next several years, Jeff Hardy dove off the balcony and delivered a Swanton Bomb to seal the victory.

The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz Royal Rumble Tag Team Championship Tables Match

There are many reasons why wrestling fans remember the Attitude Era as the peak period of the WWE. Not only did it have edgier, controversial storylines, often pushing of the boundaries of what could be shown on national television, but the Attitude Era also featured a plethora of incredible performers, and yes, that includes many legendary tag teams. In the eyes of many wrestling fans, the Attitude Era featured the best tag team matches — and you’d be hard-pressed to find any other era in the WWE that had as much talent in the division.

The match between the Hardy Boyz and the Dudley Boyz at the Royal Rumble not only put both teams on the map, but it set up one of the greatest rivalries in the history of the WWE. It was the first-ever Tag Team Tables match, and in my opinion, it is also one of the most underrated matches of the pay-per-view.

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing series. Click here to see every entry.

  • Ricky D
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TV

‘Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet’ Levels Up Gaming’s TV Reputation

PAX South Preview

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Mythic Quest

Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet is a faux-documentary series for Apple TV+

From the very start, Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet had a bold task ahead of it: take the relatively marginalized medium of gaming and represent it for a mainstream TV audience. Going off the first episode, which received an early screening at PAX South this weekend, the result is something of a mixed success. This Apple TV exclusive suffers some pacing issues and sometimes struggles to rise above the stereotypes of the typical office comedy, but at the same time, it manages to represent a wide view of gaming culture for mainstream media, offering a unique setting that allows it to rise above its shortcomings.

Mythic Quest follows Rob McElhenney as Ian Grimm (perplexingly pronounced Eye-an), the creative director of the world’s most successful MMORPG, the eponymous Mythic Quest. This cultural phenomenon is about to receive its first major DLC pack, and just before launch, the development team breaks down into conflict over one major issue: the inclusion of a shovel.

The lead engineer, Poppy (Charlotte Nicdao) is in support of the shovel’s inclusion as a new game mechanic, while Ian is insistent that it conflicts with his artistic vision. This conflict grows to a massive scale, to the point where it involves the entire game studio by the end of it. Each member of the development team has their own perspective on the matter, and their own personal storylines to go along with it as well.

The first episode of Mythic Quest may only be a half-hour long, but it stuffs tons of subplots into that brief runtime. And with so little time to work with, most of these side stories are left largely undeveloped, with most characters remaining little more than caricatures and stereotypes. The episode rushes from one subplot to another, and although this is likely a symptom of this being the first episode in the series, that doesn’t change that the pacing could have felt more natural.

That all being said, the main appeal of Mythic Quest is its setting of the world of game development, which it aims to legitimize in mainstream media. McElhenney even acknowledged as much himself in a Q and A following the screening, mentioning how gaming is often relegated to the butts of jokes and is rarely taken seriously – except when it can be sued as a political scapegoat. Mythic Quest thus addresses many of the hot topics of the industry, including crunch time, playtesting, artistic differences, toxic content creators, and the tendency of gamers to make penises in their games whenever possible.

It’s these vestiges of gaming culture that help Mythic Quest stand apart from the crowd of typical workplace comedies. It includes jokes based on full-motion video modeling, on faulty character animations, and a running gag about an immature, potty-mouthed streamer, to name a few. It’s a unique setting that appropriately allows for unique humor.

On its own, Mythic Quest is filled with stereotypes. Ian is the pretentious, self-obsessed boss, Poppy is the sensible yet underappreciated one, and so on. Yet it is the setting and the context for these stereotypes that breathe new life into them. Gaming is essentially a new frontier for mainstream comedy, so it’s refreshing to see these old tropes in a new light.

Following the screening, McElhenney stated that Mythic Quest was intended to present the issues facing the games industry in an accessible manner for a popular audience. In that regard, the first episode is already a success. As a show on its own, it suffers from a handful of stereotypes and succumbs to some pacing issues, but hopefully, these can be patched out in the context of the full series. Mythic Quest certainly isn’t perfect, but considering gaming’s poor reputation in previous media, then it’s certainly a level up.

Mythic Quest airs on Apple TV on February 7

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Wrestling

Greatest Royal Rumble Matches: Triple H and Cactus Jack Street Fight

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Royal Rumble 2000 Triple H Street and Cactus Jack Street Fight

Royal Rumble 2000

WWE Championship: Triple H vs. Cactus Jack

The thirteenth annual Royal Rumble gave us one of the best matches in WWE history.

The event took place on January 23, 2000, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. It was the start of a new decade and the WWE was gearing up to build their next great champ. And this was the match that gave one participant the push he needed to become a heavyweight legend over the next decade and arguably the greatest heel for the entire Attitude Era.

Of course, I’m referring to the Street Fight match between Triple H and Cactus Jack for the WWF WWE Championship.

It was the match the helped Triple H earn everyone’s respect; in fact, in retrospect, it’s clear the whole match was designed as one giant promo in order to give Triple H a believable physical prowess as an ongoing champion contender. And for WWE fans who weren’t familiar with Mick Foley’s earlier hardcore wrestling, the match pretty much certified the man was indeed, truly insane.

Yes, Mankind and Undertaker had already wrestled their legendary Hell in the Cell match two years prior at King of the Ring— and yes, we had already seen plenty of street fights in the WWE— but the WWE Championship match at the 2000 Royal Rumble was a brutal, violent, and extremely bloody affair. By WWE standards, it pushed the boundaries, delivering a level of violence that casual WWE fans weren’t accustomed to seeing.

It was also a match that told an excellent story and had a remarkable buildup leading into the event.

Greatest Royal Rumble Matches: Triple H Street and Cactus Jack

By the summer of ’99, Triple H was finally getting the main event push he deserved thanks to the McMahon-Helmsley Faction, a partnership that benefited from that fact that at the time, Stephanie McMahon had almost full control over the WWE. Great power means great responsibility but for Stephanie McMahon, it meant scheduling unreasonable matches for the wrestlers who were deemed a major threat to her husband. The superstar most affected was none other than, Mick Foley.

Triple H and Mick Foley put on a series of exciting matches in the first year of the new millennium and with this rivalry, came some of the best writing in the history of the WWE. The compelling storyline featured legendary promos, unforgettable drama, and unusual matches designed to wear down Triple H’s main competition. One such match was the “Pink Slip on a Pole Match” between The Rock and Mankind, with the loser forced to leave the WWE. Mankind lost, and thus was fired unceremoniously, only to return two weeks later when the Rock and the rest of the WWE superstars threatened to walk out unless Mick Foley was reinstated. That night, Foley requested a Street Fight for the WWF WWE Championship at Royal Rumble— and on a January 13 episode of SmackDown!, Foley shocked the world when he returned to the ring in his Cactus Jack persona! It wasn’t Mankind set to fight Triple H at the Royal Rumble— instead, it would be the hardcore legend.

WWE Championship: Triple H vs. Cactus Jack

With Mick Foley entering his final year as a full-time professional wrestler, fans were expecting big things from the legend, and the 2000 Royal Rumble Championship match did not disappoint. There have been plenty of Street Fights in World Wrestling Entertainment history, but one would be hard-pressed to find one better than this classic. It was the fifth match of the night— in one of the best Royal Rumble pay-per-view events to date— and by far the most memorable match on the card.  

Royal Rumble Matches: Triple H Street and Cactus Jack Street Fight

Cactus Jack gained the early advantage after repeated punches but it didn’t take long before both men took to the outside the ring using everything in their reach including the ring bell, the stairs, a couple of trash cans and more. The match featured multiple chair shots to the head along with the destruction of both announce tables and at one point, the two men even took the fight into the crowd. But the real turn of the match came earlier when Cactus brought out a 2×4 wrapped in barbed wire, and slammed it across the skull of Triple H, busting his forehead wide open. It was brutal. It was bloody, and for some fans, it was hard to watch.

Royal Rumble Matches: Triple H Street and Cactus Jack Street Fight

Reminiscent of prior a Royal Rumble, Triple H managed to handcuff Cactus Jack and continue to use the steel chair as a weapon, taking advantage of a man who could barely defend himself. Eventually, The Rock made a brief cameo, striking Triple H across the head with a chair, and allowing a police officer enough time to remove Jack’s handcuffs so he could continue to fight. Soon after, Cactus Jack was ready to seal the match but made the mistake of pouring hundreds of thumbtacks onto the ring. In a quick turn of events, Triple H fought back to take control of the match and hit his Pedigree finisher on his opponent, slamming the challenger face-first onto a large pile of thumbtacks and in the process and sealing the victory. The finish was gut-wrenching and graphic but well-scripted given the level of hatred and disdain the Superstars had for each other. Both men took a beating, but in the end, it was Triple H who escaped the victor.

Royal Rumble Matches: Triple H Street and Cactus Jack Street Fight

The brutality of the match is a reminder of the differences between the current WWE and the Attitude Era. Nowadays, the WWE doesn’t allow blood in their matches, never mind the use of barbwire and thumbtacks as weapons to use against your opponents. It was a match of its time; a match that stands the test of time— and one of the greatest matches in Royal Rumble history, fueled by the emotion of the competitors, and an epic storyline that would prove Triple H a legitimate headliner.

On a night filled with memorable moments such as the Tables Match between the Hardy Boyz and the Dudely Boyz, not to mention The Rock’s unforgettable Royal Rumble win, Triple H and Mick Foley ended up stealing the show— but it was far from the latest chapter in their rivalry. With the stage set for another iconic battle, the Hardcore Legend and Triple H would step inside a Hell in the Cell for yet, another epic encounter.

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing series. Click here to see every entry.

  • Ricky D
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