Will we ever get the Clone Wars ‘bonus content’?

September 23, 2013 in SaveTheCloneWars, The Clone Wars by Firebird

As we talk about the end of The Clone Wars and what might have been one thing keeps coming up. The ‘bonus content’, what will it be, when will we see it, in fact WILL we ever see any of it?

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The main argument in favour of it finally seeing the light of day is that it WAS announced, officially, and people say that Disney wouldn’t dare go back on that. BUT … that feels a lot like the arguments for Season 6 happening back before the cancellation news was made official. There were a lot of them, about how we’d been told this and that and it just wouldn’t make sense for them to cancel the show.

Meanwhile the video The Future of Star Wars: The Clone Wars was posted on sw.com on March 12th, that’s over 6 months ago. Six months and still no word on how many episodes, how they will be released and when? That just doesn’t make sense unless Disney ran into a serious brick wall. So what might that brick wall be?

Let’s go right back to the beginning, long before Disney entered the picture, when Warner Bros agreed to buy The Clone Wars to show on Cartoon Network. There would have been a contract signed. It would have covered all sorts of things including the conditions under which the two parties could terminate the arrangement. It’s speculation, but reasonable speculation, that the contract included something to prevent LucasFilm turning around and selling the show to the first network to offer a higher price or in fact anyone else without WB’s permission. Given how often this kind of show stealing happens when it’s a secondary contract (e.g. a UK broadcaster buying a US series) it makes perfect sense for the network which is funding a new show, and is taking the big risks, to protect its investment.

Jump forward again, and remember how when Disney cancelled TCW they had the LF press release specifically state that they would not be making the show for Cartoon Network any more?

It certainly seems that Disney DID want to use the unaired episodes but did not want them to go on a competitor’s network. Star Wars belongs to Disney now and will have the Disney logo stamped all over it.

I think they announced the ‘bonus content’ with the intention of making the episodes available in another way. Why even mention it and get fans’ hopes up unless they expected to be able to do it, right? Better to just cancel and be done with it otherwise.

Having announced it and even invested more money to have LF to finish the episodes something went wrong.

I think, and this is only speculation because I don’t know what the LF/WB contract says, but I think Disney announced the ‘bonus content’ thinking that their lawyers would be able to get them out of, or work around the part of that contract which prevents LF selling the show to anyone else, and I think they’re having a much, much harder time working out how to do it than they expected. In fact, after six months you’ve got to wonder if maybe they’ve found that there is no way out or around it. Which would leave two options. Back down and allow CN to air the remaining episodes (they’ve said publicly that they want to on Toonami) and WB to release them on disk OR write them off. End of story. Either try to blame WB for everything or continue to say nothing and hope that the hard core of TCW fans will get tired of asking.

I know this theory is a major downer, but despite thinking long and hard I cannot come up with another plausible explanation. Season 6 would have started airing about now. Next month Season 5 will be released on DVD and Blu-ray. What other reason can there be for no news for so long? I’d be interested to hear your theories.