Jedi News recently reported a rumor about the future of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars bonus content, which was promised to fans back in May 2013 when the series was cancelled. The bonus content is believed to include the remaining arcs from season six. It should be noted that at Disney’s D23 Expo, Pablo Hidalgo stated that the crew is looking for new and alternative ways to distribute the material by “thinking outside of the box” and that they’re “close to pushing it out.”
According to a source that contacted Jedi News, the bonus content may be released through an app on the Apple TV platform.
A Disney branded app for Star Wars will launch on Apple TV devices, with plans to distribute the final Clone Wars episodes exclusively digitally only through the Apple TV device for a limited period of time. This will happen in this holiday season.
In 2014, plans are in an early stage to use the platform to deliver SW7 production news ‘live’ from the sets, followed with Star Wars Rebels in late 2014 taking us all the way through to SW7 release.
Distribution will only be on Apple TV devices capable of running iOS7 and there has been no confirmation if the same app will be available to other iOS devices such as iPad or iPhone.¹
I’ve been very vocal about this particular rumor, expressing that this method is extremely limiting. The most ideal place to put the remaining episodes would be on StarWars.com or iTunes. I do understand, however, that international viewers won’t have access to this material, regardless. In the comments section of another site, someone jokingly said that eight hours later, the episodes would appear on some other location through illegal means. Jokes aside, whichever method is selected, it will limit certain pockets of the audience. Choosing Apple TV, however, would only make it more difficult to access the material for the audience that originally watched it on Cartoon Network, especially if this “app” isn’t distributed other Apple devices, such as the iPad and iPhone.
So how many people use Apple TV? Sales numbers demonstrate that Apple owned about 56% of the streaming devices market in 2012, whereas Roku came in second at 21% of the market.² Other sales figures state that Apple have sold over 13 million devices and approximately half of those (6.5 million) were sold over the last 12 months.³ Obviously, Apple TV has consumers, but how many of those consumers are Star Wars: The Clone Wars fans? I certainly don’t have one, nor do I plan to invest in one.
Also, it should be stated that, recently, a pair of Disney Channels were added to the Apple TV platform,⁴ possibly indicating that this rumor might have a foundation in truth. However, as other rumors, nothing is true until it has been confirmed by Lucasfilm and StarWars.com. In the meantime, let’s hope that there will be alternate ways to watch the bonus content because there is really nothing exclusive about the material. It’s a continuation of a cancelled series and it should be just as accessible as it was when the show was on Cartoon Network.
¹ BrianC. 27 Aug 2013. RUMOUR: Star Wars TV Shows To Get Digital Distribution. Jedi News.
² Rayburn, Dan. 16 Jul 2013. Apple Owns 56% Of The Streaming Devices Market, Roku Second With 21%. StreamingMediaBlog.com.
³ Welch, Chris. 28 May 2013. Apple TV sales surpass 13 million, ‘about half’ sold this year. The Verge.
⁴ Hickey, Matt. 27 Aug 2013. Apple TV Updated With Disney, Weather — And Maybe Hints Of True Apple HDTV? Forbes.