While The Clone Wars goes out of its way to teach all the right messages to today's generation of the future of the world - things like the value of loyalty and bravery, believing in yourself even when clone soldiers are calling you names and the importance of good personal hygiene, even if you're a baby slug - it's worth remembering that things weren't always like that. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that the original three Star Wars movies taught children some of the worst lessons that any movie series could have, and when I'm done explaining why, you'll have to agree with me.It's not just that George Lucas' first three films in the series - well, mostly the first two, to be honest - slowly undid all of your parents' hard-taught lessons about a larger morality by showing you that gamblers, smugglers and bounty hunters were all actually really awesome, and that the coolest place in all of a galaxy far, far away is actually a bar (Sure, like any of us were confused by that "cantina" thing). I mean, look at some of the lessons that the original Star Wars trilogy teaches:
Violence does, in fact, solve all your problems. Sitting down and dealing with conflict resolution calmly wasn't a concept that the 1970s/1980s George Lucas believed in, clearly. And, when the alternative involved blowing up lots of people on a planet, blowing up lots of other people on a space station, cutting off each others' hands or just plain shooting them with your blasters, who could blame him?
Good guys lie, bad guys tell the truth. What's Obi Wan Kenobi's most famous line in the entire series of movies? "These aren't the droids you're looking for." And what's Darth Vader's? "Luke. I am your father." Do you see where I'm going with this? The good guys lie all the time in the original trilogy; Han telling the stormtroopers that everything's okay in the cellblock, Leia going undercover as a bounty hunter to try and rescue Han later, everyone who kept Luke and Leia's true identities from them. In comparison, the bad guys tend to... well, be pretty straightforward and honest, if evil. Conclusion: Only villains tell the truth.
As long as you say sorry in the end, you can do whatever you want. That bit at the end of Return Of The Jedi, where the ghost of Anakin Skywalker (either old or young, depending on your taste for the special editions) joins the ghosts of Obi Wan and Yoda, and they're all "Hey, good to see you"? What the hell is that all about? Does tossing the electric Emperor into an endless pit really make up for all the killing, terrorising and other bad shit that he's done in his life, and guarantee a spot in the special Jedi afterlife? Where's the "with great power comes great responsibility" part of the story? Where does he actually, you know, face up to his actions, instead of get all "tragic hero"ed away? There are more problems with what the series teaches us - "Girls are generally useless apart from as prisoners and eye candy," for example, or "It's okay for fat guys to be called Porkins" - and it's almost enough to make you wonder if part of the reason that The Phantom Menace seemed so dull when it first appeared was because of some cosmic karmic pact that meant that George had to try and be more morally responsible second time around. And if that's the case, does the relative sterility of The Clone Wars mean that we're headed back for more socially irresponsible fun when the live-action series finally hits our screens? We can but hope. (* - And Other Nations Across The Globe)