In the wake of Disney/Lucasfilm deal, will 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' leave Cartoon Network?

Clone-Wars.jpg

Image Credit: LucasArts

After Disney staged their bloodless coup of the Star Wars universe earlier this week, there’s been a lot of talk about the next wave of movies set a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. Lost in the shuffle, though, is the TV show Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the popular prequel-era series which is currently airing its fifth season on Cartoon Network. Cartoon Network, of course, is owned by Turner, which is owned by Time Warner — which is decisively not owned by Disney. That means that Clone Wars is currently caught in the neutral zone between two megacorporations, and its future is not entirely certain. The Hollywood Reporter claims that the series will finish out its current season on Cartoon Network in early 2013, at which point it will likely move to Disney XD, the Disney network so hip that it abbreviates “Extra” with “X.”

LucasFilm owns the series and licenses it to Turner — similar to its former deal with Twentieth Century Fox, which distributed the Star Wars films. When reached for comment, a Cartoon Network spokesperson said, “A decision has not been made about a sixth season yet, and won’t be made for some time.”

And even if/when the series departs Cartoon Network for a potential sixth season, it’s not clear what will happen to the five seasons that have already aired.  A source tells EW that Cartoon Network has the rights to the first five seasons beyond 2013; presumably, Disney would ultimately prefer to horde Clone Wars together as a complete package. Then again, it’s also possible that Disney, with an eye on Episodes VIII-IX, is looking to shift the whole Star Wars experience away from the prequel era. Also, per official canon, the Clone Wars only lasted three years, so how long can the show actually last? (Then again, M*A*S*H lasted approximately eight years longer than the actual Korean War, and the Korean War had 99% less lightsabers than the Clone Wars. Conclusion: Clone Wars will last until 2037.)

Follow Darren on Twitter: @DarrenFranich

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