Look, I'm as fed up with Lucas and as baffled by The Clone Wars as the next guy. And so I appreciate Michael Agger's game attempt to make a parent's guide for The Clone Wars. But maybe because it's Slate, and so it must be focused on being flip at the expense of being actually informative, the guide misses a couple of crucial contextual details that its purported target audience, "O.T." [Original Trilogy] parents really need to know.
First, the first reference to the Clone Wars is in Episode IV: A New Hope, when Ben explains to Luke about his father. I mean, context.
Also. whether it's the animated movie or the animated TV series, The Clone Wars is set in a three-year period between Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
So yes, it's all about Annakin and Padme and whatever, but from a parenting standpoint, it also gives Lucas a backdoor into your kid's brain for introducing the prequel trilogy. Aggers' primer is pretty heavy on info that actually appeared in Episodes I-III, and he talks about keeping quiet about things like how these main animated characters will be Luke's parents.
It's not clear that Agger realizes it, but his guide really crystallizes the problems O.T. parents face in the seemingly simple question of how to introduce their kids to Star Wars [i.e., IV, V, VI, then block all mention of the prequels until they're adults]. With this cutesy fun Clone Wars as a gateway drug, Lucas is trying to thwart that plan. He wants to get your kid all Annakined up and primed to watch the prequels, if it means ruining the biggest father-son cliffhanger in a generation.
A guide to the Clone Wars for parents of inquisitive children. [slate via dadwagon]
it's all on Wkipedia anyway Clone Wars (Star Wars) [wikipedia]
image up top: Busy Dad Blog posing with Clone War bobbleheads, some of the worst Happy Meal toys ever, and that's saying something [busydadblog]
Previously and very related: Being ready to give up on Star Wars