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“As we enter into an exciting new era focused on the next Star Wars trilogy, Lucasfilm has decided to pursue a new direction in animated programming,” the company wrote on its website Monday, more than five months after Disney purchased Lucasfilm. “We are exploring a whole new Star Wars series set in a time period previously untouched in Star Wars films or television programming. You can expect more details in the months to come.
“After five highly successful and critically acclaimed seasons of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, we feel the time has come to wind down the series,” the statement continued. “While the studio is no longer producing new episodes for Cartoon Network, we’re continuing production on new Clone Wars story arcs that promise to be some of the most thrilling adventures ever seen. Stay tuned for more information on where fans can soon find this bonus content.”
In addition, Lucasfilm also has decided to postpone Star Wars: Detours, an animated series from Seth Green, Todd Grimes and Matthew Senreich. Green and Senreich are behind Cartoon Network/Adult Swim’s Emmy-winning animated hit Robot Chicken.
“It has been a pleasure to work with Lucasfilm on Star Wars: The Clone Wars over the last five years and introducing a whole new audience to this great iconic brand,” Cartoon Network said in a statement acquired by The Hollywood Reporter.
Clone Wars had been a top performer on Cartoon Network since it launched in August 2008 as an animated feature (which first played briefly in theaters). Even after being moved to Saturday morning last year, Clone Wars remained the No. 1 show among boys 9-14 and has shown continued strength among kids 2-11 and 9-14, especially among boys. The show’s fifth season that ended March 2 averaged 1.7 million total viewers.
The Clone Wars series on Cartoon Network take place in a fictional Stars Wars galaxy in the same time period as the Star Wars movies Attack of the Clones (2002) and Revenge of the Sith (2005), the most recent feature release.
Cartoon Network’s sister company Warner Bros. distributed the Clone Wars movie in 2008 and has been selling previous episodes of Clone Wars on DVD and Blu-ray. In 2012, Clone Wars also went into broadcast syndication for the first time through an independent company, Trifecta Entertainment and Media.
After Disney acquired Lucasfilm in October, there was immediate speculation about the future of Clone Wars. In a conference call at the time of the sale, Disney CEO Robert Iger discussed the potential for Star Wars animated spinoffs to play on Disney-owned channels, especially Disney XD (which unlike the Disney Channel carries advertising).
Turner Entertainment’s Cartoon Network only had the license for Clone Wars through the end of the 2012-13 season. Renewals had been done year by year. While Turner is believed to have wanted to continue, it is clear Disney has another vision for the Star Wars spinoffs.
Clone Wars has been produced at a production facility in Singapore, which has been expanded in recent years. It is likely the new series also will be produced there.
Reps for Green did not respond to a request for comment.
Check out the clip below featuring Lucasfilm supervising director Dave Filoni previewing what’s to come for Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
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