Lucasfilm Animation Announces 'Clone Wars' Cancellation, 'Detours' Detoured

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The studio announced this morning that the hit Cartoon Network series would end after the fifth season with additional story arcs to appear elsewhere, presumably as Disney continues to clear the decks for "Episode VII."

Why would you cancel a critically and commercially-successful animated series? When you have a massive boost to the franchise on the way and you don't want people thinking about the old trilogy. I have to imagine that's part of the thinking behind Lucasfilm Animation (likely at the behest of new owners Disney) winding down production on "The Clone Wars." According to a post on the official "Star Wars" site, Lucasfilm Animation will be redirecting their efforts toward "a whole new 'Star Wars' series set in a time period previously untouched in Star Wars films or television programming."

While the promise of a new series is exciting, it's gotta sting "Clone Wars" fans that their beloved show is coming to an end. Lucasfilm Animation promises that they're still working on additional story arcs for the series and that in the coming months they'll have details on where fans can view this "bonus content" (comics? webisodes?).

There might be less of a sting when it comes to "Star Wars: Detours," the animated comedy series from "Robot Chicken" creators Matt Senreich and Seth Green which is being put on the backburner. I wouldn't be surprised if it got some kind of marathon release on Cartoon Network before a swift dump onto DVD. Response to "Detours" was always kind of weird: a franchise that has been known in recent years for its goofy excesses was in turn getting a goofily excessive animated series by the very smart guys at "Robot Chicken." It's bad news for Senreich and Green, but at the same time, I don't think too many people will mourn its passing.

These moves come amid questions about how Disney is handling "Star Wars" projects that were in development prior to their takeover of Lucasfilm. Most recently, we brought you details from Kotaku's report that revealed that the gorgeous third-person action game "Star Wars 1313" might be on indefinite hold as Disney got all of their "Star Wars" ducks in a row (an unfortunate confluence of Disney now being in the "Star Wars" business while trying to get out of the AAA video game business).

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