Finally, we get to witness the last season of a wonderful animated series that ended when it was in its prime, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The Emmy winning series has chronicled that legendary moment in time first mentioned by Obi-Wan Kenobi in his hut on Tatooine. Thanks to the Clone Wars, viewers get to experience the majesty, adventure, intrigue, and events that we have wondered about since 1977. In fact, it could be argued that this groundbreaking series added much needed gravitas, characterization, and pathos to not only the relationship between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, but fleshed out the Prequel era in a way we all dreamed they would when we first learned that the story of Anakin Skywalker would be revealed. This is in no way to demote the value of the Prequels (I love them, albeit in a different fashion than the Original Trilogy), but to laud the achievements in animation, storytelling, and character that George Lucas, Dave Filoni, and company accomplished through this Emmy award winning series.
Anyone reading this Blog will no doubt agree with the premise presented here. More than likely, you were also one of the millions rejoicing on February 13th when Star Wars gave us the early Valentine’s Day present which revealed that on March 7th, the sixth and final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars will be released on Netflix in the US and Canada. Not only that, but we also get several director’s cut episodes, as well as the first five seasons and the feature film. Our melancholy from last March has been replaced by ebullience and enthusiasm. Fans have been promised thirteen new episodes, including arcs featuring new information on Order 66, as well as a powerful arc featuring Yoda and the heretofore previously unknown origins of the Sith. The trailer alone (released on 2/24) has started an onslaught of speculation, celebration, and consternation regarding what will happen next.
However, this revelation has led Star Wars fans to a new quandary heretofore not previously explored …how do we watch the new season? Do we binge, or do we savor? This is an intriguing dilemma, to be sure, but one with considerable consequences. Much like the Jundland Wastes, this decision should not be traveled lightly.
To Binge: in the Netflix era of entertainment, marathon viewing of TV seasons has become quite popular. Take a weekend to peruse a season of your favorite program, and experiencing the instant gratification of discovering where character arcs will delve, as well as avoiding that cliffhanger sensation that the ambiguity of having to wait an entire week can do to a person’s psyche. For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, agonizing over what will happen to our heroes in the interim, the pangs of pondering what the fate of Fives will be, and just what is going to happen on Dagobah to our beloved Jedi Master, when he himself might his impatience eliminate with a wave of his or her remote control. You have waited over a year; don’t you deserve to have your curiosity appeased?
With binge viewing, you get to settle down on your favorite couch or easy chair, and experience The Clone Wars instantly, the way you have been dreaming about since last February. No more waiting, no more speculation, and no more unknown. Plus, you get to watch the episodes in any order you wish. The possibilities are endless; you get to decide how these new chapters of Star Wars are disseminated, and you can immediately open up discussions of the saga in new and exciting ways.
Indeed, this is a tempting avenue to explore. However, have you considered the alternate option, to savor? This does not currently appear to be the viewing style du jour, but have the merits properly been considered?
To Savor: Perhaps the reason this is the most beneficial is that if the Lost Missions are savored, you are looking at experiencing the 13 Bonus Episodes over 13 weeks. Consider that for a moment: you waited almost 13 months for new episodes of the Clone Wars. Now you get to watch a new episode each week for a tad over 3 months! That gives you a relatively small amount of time to wait for Star Wars Rebels to debut, and you get new Star Wars every week for over three months! A staggering notion, considering how long the wait has been for fans clamoring for more of Dave Filoni’s incredible storytelling.
While it is true that this option would require Palpatine levels of discipline and restraint, the benefits of savoring and enjoying the last season of The Clone Wars far exceed any instant gratification that marathon viewing may provide. Binge viewing will bring a more immediate influx of knowledge and joy, but will make the wait for Rebels that much longer, and increase the gap in time with which you will have to wait for new Star Wars material.
The only problem with this strategy is, of course, the internet. Any Star Wars fan who spends a portion of his or her day perusing Twitter, Tumblr, or myriad Star Wars sites knows full well that the internet will be replete with musings, speculation, and … wait for it … spoilers! Any listeners of Coffee With Kenobi knows that we are not a spoiler Podcast, and try to avoid them like Stormtroopers avoid precision marksmanship; this makes binge viewing more permissible, but less satisfying in the long run.
Personally, my plan is to savor the Lost Missions, and while I may watch an entire arc in one fell swoop, I would like to think that I will savor each new episode of The Clone Wars at a leisurely pace. I was one of the millions who wrote to Disney and sent in a voice mail, expressing my sincere desire to keep the series alive. I am as eager as anyone to ingest this seemingly poignant and promising close to The Clone Wars series. Whether ‘tis nobler to view the series marathon fashion, or to take arms against adrenaline and savor each new episode like a fine wine is up to you. Whatever your choice may be, may you enjoy each and every moment of this fantastic series. May the Force be With You!
How will you watch Clone Wars: The Lost Missions? Comment below, and let your voice be heard!