When George Lucas went back to revisit the Star Wars universe it was a given that we would see the younger versions of certain characters.
These all made perfect sense. We were expecting a story about the Jedi at the height of their power and a Republic pre-dictatorship.
But what about all of the other characters who came back and were suddenly given these supporting roles in events that didn’t need them.
What was the purpose of having Greedo make an appearance in Episode I?
Why is Chewie in Episode III?
Two iconic characters, sure, but are we to believe that in all of the galaxy, these two just so happened to be in the same place as Yoda and the future Darth Vader?
Though their cameos were quick, it always bothered me that we got these little winks to the old trilogy. For me, it cheapens the moment when an unrelated character is wedged into a scene like this. I would have been happy enough to just see a shit load of Wookiees, but to make it seem like Yoda and Chewbacca had some sort of history together was just plain weird.
This doesn’t mean that all references to the OT should have been off limits. There are tons of characters that warranted some screen time. Leia’s adopted father, Bail Organa, deserved a much larger role that he was given. Mon Mothma, another founder of the Rebellion, was relegated to anonymous background cameos.
|Well at least she got her own…yeah, no one bought it.|
The Clone Wars has given these characters a bit more attention, and in general does a great job in bridging the gap between trilogies in a much more natural way. This week they’ll be bringing yet another classic character into the mix: a young Grand Moff Tarkin.
Brought to life with a wonderful mix of British charm and charismatic villainy by Peter Cushing, Tarkin is the perfect example of who we should be seeing more of in Prequel era stories because it makes sense to see him around. In A New Hope we get the impression that he is plugged into the Emperor’s grand scheme, a part of his inner circle.
On paper Tarkin is presented as having more power than Vader in ANH. He is allowed to use his own judgment in deciding the fate of an entire planet. He has the guts to order Vader around, but only after allowing him to flex his Force muscle on some cocky subordinate. Princess Leia even says so when she meets Tarkin face to face, he “holds Vader’s leash.”
Given his age we can assume he was a Republic officer during the Prequels, but what kind of man was he? Was he a sniveling opportunist? A cold, calculating, career-minded prick? While hard to not picture him as being some type of bad guy, he is, technically, going to be one of the good guys.
|How is this guy NOT evil|
By introducing Tarkin we will be seeing for the first time how the transition from Republic to Empire might play out for Palpatine’s supporters.
We know how the peace-loving Rebels handle it, but what about the billions of citizens and soldiers who either blindly follow or rabidly support the Sith dictator? It’s just another question on a long list of them that The Clone Wars tries to addresses.
Hopefully it pans out and doesn’t just end up like another Greedo or Chewie cameo.