No, I’m not talking about the cartoon series The Clone Wars.
I watched the Tartovsky cartoon when it came out, but never watched the computer animated movie or series. No, I’m talking about the concept of the Clone Wars as George Lucas formed it within the prequels.
Someone asked me the other day what itch The Unity Wars will scratch that Star Wars won’t. So, I’m trying to answer that question.
What is wrong with the Clone Wars? Well, to start, it helps to go back to pre-2002, and what the Original Trilogy and the Expanded Universe had to say about them. There wasn’t a lot of detail available, purportedly by design. (Though that might be open to question.) But there were hints.
We knew that they were big, galaxy spanning conflicts.
We knew that there were more than one (hence the term “Clone Wars“). The mind turned to a series of conflagrations, perhaps WWI leading into WWII, only several times–perhaps the “Clone Masters” that Timothy Zahn mentioned in the Heir to the Empire trilogy escaped to rebuild each time, like Nazi Germany after Versailles.
And I don’t think anyone, prior to the dumpster fire that was Attack of the Clones (even a fan edit that cut out most of the cringe-worthy stuff can’t save the storytelling in that movie), thought that the clones were going to be on the “good guys” side.
After all, what war in history has been named after the winning side? Wars are either named after both sides (Franco-Prussian War, Russo-Japanese War), the enemy side (The Indian Wars, the Boxer Rebellion), or the circumstances (World War I and II, the Vietnam War). Vietnam isn’t called “The US Army War.” So why would the Republic name a war that they won with clone armies “The Clone Wars?”
So, to make sense, the Clone Wars would have to have been started by an enemy using clones.
That’s kind of where I got started thinking about The Unity Wars. What if The Clone Wars were more like what had been hinted at in the earlier material?
The good guys shouldn’t have clone armies. (For one thing, there is a serious ethical problem with creating expendable human beings for the sole purpose of cannon fodder). The clone armies need to be the tools of unscrupulous villains, who care more about their objectives than ethics.
Scale is important.
I’ll go into this at some greater length later, but a galaxy is a big place. And, as I said above, “Clone Wars” implies that it isn’t all one big conflict. There have to be multiple facets, multiple fronts, and multiple factions getting involved. (Let’s face it, The Clone Wars were probably too big to be dealt with in three movies.) So The Unity Wars won’t just be the equivalent of The Republic against the equivalent of The Separatists. It’ll be bigger and more chaotic than that.
Which, of course, means that victories might not always be final. The galaxy is a big place, and there are a lot of places to hide…
I’ve got other issues of scale, philosophy, storytelling, and tactics and strategy, but I’ll talk about those in different posts.
In the meantime, if this sounds interesting, consider subscribing and joining the team as the series takes shape. I don’t think you’ll regret it.