TCA Today: Cranky We Are

LOS ANGELES–May the force fed be with us.
In a highly unusual move, critics were forced to watch television this morning at press tour. Naturally, there was hell to pay.
An entire’ 22-minute episode of George Lucas’s animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars was shown on giant, high definition screens in the main ballroom of the Beverly Hilton. The series pemieres on Cartoon Network this fall and will also air Sunday evenings on CTV’s A-Channels next season.
Almost immediately, critics with lap tops open (like this one) started whinging on blogs about being held captive, being force fed content instead of quizzing talent and executives.
Supervising director David Filoni–wearing an Indiana Jones hat and a Lucasfilm T-shirt, just in case there was any confusuion about where his allegiance lies–chatted up the series. “George is there and he’s really engaged in what we’re doing,” he says. He also went on and on about Count Duka (“he’s the main evil bad guy”) and other nerdy Star Wars details. At 34, he was a baby when the original Star Wars movie premiered in 1977.
Apparently we were all super lucky to get this sneak peek at the CGI space ‘toon. Filoni went on about how Lucas never lets anything out of the vault. Still, as colleague Bill Harris from the Toronto Sun said to me, hard to take any of this seriously after watching Robot Chicken skewer the Yoda out of the entire Star Wars franchise.
Minnesota critic Neal Justin asked if perhaps enough is enough with the saga. “Can we still mine stuff out of this,” he asked. “Every time I go to a toy store I still see kids playing with light sabres,” said Filioni. As Yoda would say, answered it was.

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