It’s come to this. Brief comments about this show on Twitter, sparking the occasional brief conversation, will no longer suffice to contain my concerns. It has to be…a blog post.
I want to address a glaring omission from the new Clone Wars series. Having seen the first three series in their entirety I feel qualified to make this critique: droids in this show are treated worse than slaves, worse than bicycles and stereos, which at least garner some kind of emotional attachment from their owners.
I watched countless episode after countless episode where battle droids of various flavours clearly show emotions; hope, fear, dreams of the future; even some primitive forms of slapstick comedy (AI is tough, ok?). And yet the heroes of this show, our heroes, ceaselessly, mindlessly and brutally slaughter these droids in every possible way, viciously slashing them into tiny steaming molten metal pieces, sometimes mere seconds after they’ve expressed some kind of private, personal concern.
Now I don’t have a problem with this on the surface- science fictional/fantasy narratives like Star Wars exist to explore concepts such as this, after all. What concerns me is that this brutal slaughter and slave-race mentality is never addressed. Not once. Ever.
I watched the twi’lek sidekick of young Anakin run a circle around a group of tripped-up battle droids, trailing her light saber behind her and slicing their heads in two.
I watched endless numbers of sentient creatures hacked into smithereens by our heroes, and not once in 66 or so episodes did someone say ‘these droids tick every box of ‘personhood’ and ‘personality’, so how is it ok for us to slaughter them like this?’
I think this failure to even recognise the slaughter of countless sentient creatures is more horrific than anything the Sith can dream up.
Palpatine must be chuckling heartily.