The crazy popularity of the "Star Wars" mega-franchise continues to amaze.
The original films released in my teens and 20s continue to strike awe in kids experiencing them for the first time and even on the smallest of today's varied screen options.
They were pretty darn amazing 30 years ago on the big screen, to be sure. But the staying power is downright otherworldly.
I see this regularly with my 14-year-old son and his friends. The fact that George Lucas, the creator of all this fan chaos, hails from our own little burg makes for some sweet icing on the intergalactic cake for these kids.
There's more to the franchise than just the six big-screen films a number set to expand to nine now that Lucas has sold his franchise to Disney, where Episode VII of the "Star Wars" saga is being made and two more are planned. There are, among other things, books, magazines, online communities and at least for now one animated TV show.
That last item, the TV show, is piped into our family room weekly. My son does not miss it. He is very serious about this. I accidentally deleted one episode from the DVR before he'd finished watching it and felt the Jedi wrath shoot forth from his nimble frame.
So I haven't had the heart to ask him how he feels about the news I read on the wires this week: that this animated series, "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," is coming to an end.
Sort of. Maybe.
According to wire reports, there will be a winding down for "Clone Wars" because of the changes at Lucasfilm.
Now that the Disney-owned company is making a new "Star Wars" trilogy, it has "decided to pursue a new direction in animated programming," a New York Times story said.
It means "Clone Wars" no longer will appear on Cartoon Network, a Time Warner-owned channel. But, the story said, production will continue on "new story arcs" that would appear as "bonus content"
I have little doubt that my son already knows that the kind-of, sort-of end is near. If that news is online, it likely made its way to his computer screen. Or to that of a friend who has passed on the information.
Dave Filoni, supervising director of the series, told the McClatchy-Tribune News that "there are more Star Wars happening here than anytime I've even been here with the company. I look around the halls and Episode VII is actually being made every day. I didn't think I'd actually get to say that in my lifetime."
With all the new activity surrounding the "Star Wars" universe, the loss of the TV show will, hopefully, be but a light blow to all the fans out there, including my own teenage one.
Even as he steps away from "Star Wars," Lucas continues to have a massive impact with fans, young ones, old ones, mega-ones and casual ones, alike.
It's time to check in on our Modesto-native reality TV stars, currently vying for fame and fortune.
Meghan Camarena a Modesto native living in Los Angeles and her partner, Joey Graceffa, continue to advance on "The Amazing Race." The two made it through a Bali course Sunday and remain in the middle of the pack.
Meanwhile, on "Fashion Star," former Modestan JesseRay Vasquez and his design partner, Garrett Gerson, nearly suffered the dreaded first-to-go-home reality-show destiny in the season debut last Friday of the NBC competition. Judges had to decide between their playing-it-too-safe dress design and a wholly uncommercial pants look from another designer.
JesseRay and Garrett stayed and live to design another day. Today, to be specific episode two of "Fashion Star" airs tonight. The competitors vie for a chance to have their designs bought, on the spot, by Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue or Express. The claimed designs will show up in those stores right away, so you can support the former Modestan by buying his design work if it sells this go-round.
Here's hoping JesseRay and Garrett have better luck in episode two: the design wars.