Tag Archives: animation

4 Reasons Why There Should Be A Xena Animated Series

Lucy Lawless recently said that she wants a Xena reboot because “it’s a wasted franchise.” Despite being off the air for 17 years, fans are still clamoring for a chance to see Xena and Gabrielle riding on the small screen once again. Others aren’t sure if lightning can strike twice. But fear not Xenites! I have a suggestion. The answer to all our problems lies here:

Image result for hercules and xena the battle for mount olympus

No. I’m not saying you have to watch this film on a loop to get your Xena fix. I’m suggesting this: reboot Xena as a (hand drawn, thank you very much) cartoon show. What? You think that’s silly? Well that’s why I have a blog and you don’t. Here’s why there should be a Xena animated series.

1. It worked for other franchises.

Star Trek has an animated series. Star Wars has five animated series to date. They won awards and are embraced by fans as much as their live-action counterparts. With good scripts and talented artists, a successful Xena animated series is possible.

2. It allows for more creative freedom.

What if Xena and Gabrielle weren’t kept in suspended animation for 25 years? What if Eve didn’t grow up to become Livia because her mother was around? What if Xena met historical figures like Alexander the Great, Hannibal or Zenobia? What if Xena and Gabrielle got lost at sea and ended up finding the New World long before the rest of Europe did? What if the events of A Friend In Need never happened? You see, this series doesn’t have to be in the same timeline as the live-action series. You can do whatever you want and still stick to the “time of ancient gods, warlords and kings” but you can have the occasional modern episode a la “The Xena Scrolls” or “Deja Vu All Over Again”. Hercules, Iolaus, Joxer, Autolycus, Salmoneus, Ephiny and Cyrene can still make appearances along with new characters (since Kevin T. Smith died tragically in 2002, it’s debatable whether they should cast a new actor to voice Ares or retire the character). And speaking of appearances…

3. No physical demands on the actors.

Lucy Lawless is 50. Renee O’Connor is 47. Ted Raimi is 52. Kevin Sorbo is 59 and Michael Hurst is 60. Hudson Leick is 48. I don’t think these actors want to risk hurting themselves doing physical work the show demanded – even with stunt doubles. At the same time, I can’t picture any one else but the aforementioned actors playing their iconic roles, but they can voice the characters they made famous (and it would be fun to see other voice actors guest star on the show. Just imagine Ashley Eckstein or James Arnold Taylor making a guest appearance!). After all if 66 year old Mark Hamill can lend his voice to TESB Luke (and make it work), then Lucy Lawless can do the same.

 4. It can tone down the darker aspects of the show.

Now I don’t mean turning it into a saccharine kiddy show, but there are certain aspects of the show I wouldn’t be comfortable showing to little girls (“The Ides of March” anyone?). And I want to introduce little girls to Xena and see them embrace her the way they embrace Wonder Woman. But they have shows like DC Superhero Girls to introduce them to kinder and gentler versions of DC’s greatest female characters. There can still be action and adventure in the vein of, say, Justice League Unlimited or Batman: The Brave and the Bold, but without blood or scary moments. Again, with the right kind of writers, it’s possible to make a kid-friendly show that adults will love.

Well those are the only reasons I can think of. Any ideas you can add? Let me know in the comments.

 

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Star Wars: Forces of Destiny Recap: “The Imposter Inside”

Finally a Padme centic episode! Well, sort of. Ahsoka does most of the fighting. The Naboo senator and the jedi padawan are setting a table – with the help of a handmaiden – for a political dinner party only for Ahsoka to notice that there are utensils on the table, a diplomatic no-no for the guests involved. It’s all the fault of the handmaiden (who curiously is dressed like one of Padme’s handmaidens from The Phantom Menace) who turns out to be a Clawdite assassin out to kill – you guessed it – Padme…again. It’s time for another Ahsoka/Padme tag team fight! Afterwards – dinner!

Questions 

Why is Padme wearing the white jumpsuit she wore in Attack of the Clones when she’s about to play hostess? Shouldn’t she be wearing something more formal? It’s like she knew what was coming…

Final Thoughts

There’s been a lot of wish fulfillment among female fans about Padme’s fate in the prequels. Most wanted her to give up Luke and Leia and then become one of the great leaders of the Rebellion along with Bail and Mon. But after viewing this episode and The Clone Wars, I don’t think instigating a rebellion was in Padme’s blood. Sure, she was present at the secret meetings (albeit reluctantly) among the senators and presented the Petition of 2000 to Chancellor Palpatine but in the end, Padme was a pacifist through and through. Despite her role as leader in the Battle of Naboo, Padme only fights in self defense (that battle was a last resort after her pleas to the senate failed. It also delivered her unwittingly into Palpatine’s clutches). The rest of the time, she is arguing against war and always finding ways to avoid war  much to her detriment. This is why she’s been the target of assassination attempt after assassination attempt – her beliefs aren’t welcome in a galaxy that’s full of scum and villainy.

I’m hoping that if there are more Padme episodes in the near future, we will get some that take place before, during and after The Phantom Menace but before Attack of the Clones. There’s a 10-year gap between episodes 1 and 2 so let’s see more Queen Amidala. What other challenges did she face as Queen in office? Better yet, let’s see some episodes centered around Amidala’s handmaidens, especially Sabe. Or Yane and Sache when they had to stay behind on Naboo during the Trade Federation Crisis. Or an adaptation of Queen in Disguise.  Or an episode about Corde and Dorme, Padme’s handmaidens from Attack of the Clones. The possibilities are endless.

Until next time, Star Warriors. May the Force Be With You.

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Star Wars: Forces of Destiny Recap: “Beasts of Echo Base”

Inspired by a deleted scene from The Empire Strikes Back where snowtroopers are attacked by wampas that live in the caverns of Echo Base where the Rebel Alliance is hiding out, Leia and Artoo are looking for Chewie. Poor Chewie is in the possession (literally) of a sleeping wampa! With no weapons or use of the Force can Leia save Chewie without becoming wampa chow herself?

Highlights

Well the only good thing I can say about this episode is seeing Chewie vulnerable makes him more loveable to me. It’s not that I never liked Chewie, it’s just that Chewie was always the tough, gruff alien that could rip your arms from your sockets or choke you to death. But seeing a bigger predator that scares Chewie enough to make him cry for help makes him seem more…humanoid. You just want to give him a big bear hug and never let him go.

Now for the questions. Actually I only have one:

  • For once can we see Chewie fix something without Artoo’s help?

Over all this episode was OK. It just wasn’t as memorable as “Ewok Escape” or “The Padawan Path”. It didn’t make me want to watch it over and over again. In fact I’m starting to think this series isn’t as good as DC Superhero Girls. It’s not that I expect Star Wars to be just like DC (it’s not). It’s just that Forces of Destiny lacks the charm and empowerment that DC Superhero Girls has. It doesn’t even have the spiritual and philosophical mindset Star Wars is known for (and yes, you can slip in those aspects in three minutes). Even the current merchandise looks underwhelming.

Or maybe I find the series lacking because I feel Disney’s ladies are stealing Lucas’ ladies’ thunder. I feel as if Disney is slowly edging out Leia, Padme and Ahsoka to give their characters more spotlight. It’s like seeing more Star Trek merchandise depicting Captain Janeway instead of Uhura because one was a captain and the other wasn’t.

Or maybe I’m just being a troll.

But don’t worry, I’ll still give a recap for the next episode: The Imposter Inside because Padme’s in it!

Until next time Star Warriors!

 

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Star Wars: Forces of Destiny Recap: “The Padawan Path”

After three years of seeing an adult Ahsoka in Rebels, it’s great to see a Clone Wars era Ahsoka again.

Rampaging robots! Ahsoka must hurry to be in time for her scheduled Jedi ceremony with Yoda and Anakin. But on the way she hears cry for help and sees a mother and child Aleena running from a giant malfunctioning droid, destroying everything in its path. Will Ahsoka risk her chance at becoming a Jedi Knight or will she help those in need? I think you know the answer.

Highlights For This Episode:

  • Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka), Matt Lanter (Anakin) and Tom Kane (Yoda) are reunited!
  • Clone Wars fans, our prayers have been answered: we got another CW episode. This story actually takes place between Hunt for Ziro and Heroes on Both Sides.
  • Anakin traded in his scar to become a pretty boy! Someone made this meme in response. No matter what medium he appears in, he’ll always be appealing – except when he becomes Darth Vader of course.
  • The steam that rises from Ahsoka’s lightsabers as she spots a leaky waterpipe reminds me of when Anakin fought Asajj in the rain on Yavin 4 in Star Wars: Clone Wars.
  • In hindsight its sobering to think that Ahsoka will never be appointed a master and Anakin and Yoda will become enemies.

Now For Some Questions:

  • How did that droid get loose anyway? What caused it to malfunction?
  • Why aren’t other jedi present at the ceremony? I know there’s a war going on but the temple is always a busy place.
  • Did she really have to run all the way to the temple? Why not just hitch a ride on a flying taxi cab?

All in all, a good episode. Welcome back Clone Wars.

Up next: Leia vs. the “Beasts of Echo Base”.

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Star Wars: Forces of Destiny Recap: “Ewok Escape”

Forces of Destiny is a hand drawn animated micro-series that centers around the women of Star Wars. They span across the entire saga and can be seen on YouTube and the Disney channel. They will be accompanied by books and toys. I wonder if Disney did this as an answer to DC Superhero Girls. Anyway, I’ll be reviewing some select episodes for the next couple of posts.

“Ewok Escape” is the first Leia-centric episode that shows us what happened between Leia meeting Wicket and Han and Luke’s capture by the Ewoks. Leia is following Wicket through the forest when they come across two stormtroopers bullying a pair of Ewoks. Climbing a tree and making a rope from vine, Wicket successfully ties up the troopers but isn’t heavy enough to lift them off the ground without getting shot. Seeing the whole situation, Leia intervenes, knocking them out and getting a blaster in the process. Next we see Leia at the Ewok village receiving a present: the beige dress she wore in Return of the Jedi. “Does it come with a spear?” she asks.

Here’s what I liked about this episode:

  • Snippets of “Leia’s Theme” and “Ewok Parade” can be heard at the beginning of the episode.
  • It’s canon! So now you can pause Return of the Jedi , watch this episode, then resume.
  • Ewoks, Ewoks, Ewoks! Reminds me of the Ewok cartoons and TV movies. Take that haters!
  • In an age of CGI, it’s great to see a traditionally animated Star Wars cartoon.

And now for some questions, regarding the episode and the entire series in general:

  • Why wasn’t this the first episode of the series? Leia is the First Lady of Star Wars.
  • How did the Ewoks get Leia’s measurements to make the dress?
  • Did they even make the dress or did it belong to another woman?
  • Why did they hire a new voice actress when they could’ve used Julie Dolan since she voiced Leia in Rebels?

And now for questions about the series in general:

  • Why isn’t Padme included in the merchandise line up?
  • Will there be action figures (because not all girls like dolls)?
  • Will there be more than 16 episodes?
  • Will Bultar Swan, Aayla Secura, Luminara Unduli, Shaak Ti or villains like Asajj Ventress and Aurra Sing get their own episodes?

And now for one regret: it’s regrettable that Disney will only do women from the movies and TV shows. This is another reminder of why it was a bad decision for Disney to put an end to the EU. I would’ve loved to have seen some three-minute adventures starring Jaina Solo, Mara Jade, The Singing Mountain Clan, Kerra Holt, Jan Ors, Cindel Towani or Ensign Nanda. But I guess I’ll just have to settle for the usual suspects.

So far, so good.

Up next – Ahsoka takes “The Padawan Path”.

 

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